Clinical aspects of the Chagas' heart disease.
ABSTRACT Chagas' heart disease, caused by protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, is a common cause of cardiomyopathy in the Americas. Transmission of T. cruzi occurs through Reduviids, the kissing bugs. Less common ways of transmission are blood transfusion, congenital transmission, organ transplantation, laboratory accident, breastfeeding, and oral contamination. Infestation results in cardiac dysautonomia, myocardial apoptosis, and myocardial fibrosis. In acute phase, death is mostly caused by myocarditis and in chronic phase, it is mostly by irreversible cardiomyopathy. A majority of the patients with Chagas' disease remain in the latent phase of disease for 10 to 30 years or even for life. Specific anti-Chagas' therapy with trypanocide drugs is useful in acute phase but the management of chronic Chagas' heart disease is mostly empirical. The mortality during the acute phase of cardiac Chagas is around 5%. Five-year mortality of chronic Chagas' disease with cardiac dysfunction is above 50%. The clinical aspects of the Chagas' heart disease are concisely reviewed.
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ABSTRACT: To establish the usefulness of echocardiography for the clinical classification of patients with Chagas disease and to determine the predictors of mortality and clinical events. 849 patients with chronic Chagas disease with a mean follow up of 9.9 years were studied. On admission, ECG, chest radiograph, and two dimensional echocardiogram were obtained from all patients. Clinical events were defined as new ECG abnormalities, change in clinical status resulting in transfer to another group, and death. Morphologically characterised segmental lesions were also seen in 12 patients on a second harmonic echocardiogram with intravenous contrast agent. Univariate and multivariate analysis for clinical events and mortality were performed. Community of San Martín, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Change in clinical group (68 of 833 survivors v 15 of 16 who died, p < 0.001), left ventricular systolic dimension (mean (SD) 3.06 (0.72) cm v 4.71 (0.90) cm, p < 0.0001), and ejection fraction (mean (SD) 0.67 (0.11)% v 0.42 (0.17)%, p < 0.0001) were found to be the only predictors of mortality. ECG abnormalities related to the disease (in 220 of 699 patients with no clinical event v 98 of 150 patients with a clinical event, p < 0.0001), left ventricular diastolic dimension (mean (SD) 4.88 (0.54) cm v 5.44 (0.83) cm, p < 0.0001), left ventricular systolic dimension (mean (SD) 2.98 (0.62) cm v 3.64 (1.03) cm, p < 0.0001), and ejection fraction (mean (SD) 0.68 (0.10)% v 0.60 (0.16)%, p < 0.0001) were predictors of clinical events. Segmental lesions were observed in 211 of 849 patients (25%). Segmental lesions were seen in 66 (13%) and systolic dysfunction was seen in four of 505 (0.8%) patients with normal ECG. Significant differences were found between the groups of patients (group 0: reactive serology and normal ECG and chest radiography without cardiac enlargement and no signs of heart failure; group 1: reactive serology and abnormal ECG and chest radiography without cardiac enlargement; group 2: reactive serology and abnormal ECG and chest radiography with cardiac enlargement and no signs of heart failure). Echocardiography was useful both to characterise and to determine the prognosis of patients with chronic Chagas disease without heart failure.Heart (British Cardiac Society) 07/2004; 90(6):655-60. · 5.01 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Chronic Chagas' disease produces pathologic changes of the cardiovascular, digestive, and autonomic nervous systems. In an attempt to elucidate the nature of the dysautonomia in patients with Chagas' disease, we measured plasma norepinephrine levels, blood pressure, and heart rate, both supine and standing in 26 patients, and compared these values of patients classified according to three clinical subsets of cardiovascular manifestations with the values of nine normal volunteers and 16 patients with nonchagasic heart failure. Results suggested (1) progressive blockade of the alpha receptor in patients with Chagas' disease who have minimal clinical symptoms (group I) and in those who have ECG alterations without congestive symptoms (group II), as reflected by normal or raised plasma norepinephrine levels without change of diastolic blood pressure during standing, which indicates absent postural reflexes; and (2) blockade associated with partial denervation in patients with Chagas' disease who have class III or IV heart failure (group III), as suggested by a lower supine plasma norepinephrine level and a fall in diastolic blood pressure in the upright position. The findings of reduced plasma norepinephrine levels are in contrast to the elevated plasma norepinephrine levels in patients without Chagas' disease with class III and IV heart failure who have sympathetic hyperactivity.American Heart Journal 05/1989; 117(4):882-7. · 4.50 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Chagasic cardiomyopathy is independently associated with ischemic stroke in Chagas disease. American trypanosomiasis, Chagas disease (CD), is a major public health problem in South America. We sought to evaluate prevalence of vascular risk factors for stroke in patients with stroke caused by CD. Ninety-four consecutive CD stroke patients and 150 consecutive nonchagasic stroke patients were studied. CD was confirmed when both immunofluorescence and hemagglutination serology were positive. Data collected included age, sex, vascular risk factors, diagnostic stroke subtype (TOAST classification), and echocardiography findings. Fasting plasma levels of protein C, protein S, antithrombin III, homocysteine, activated protein C resistance, IgG anticardiolipin antibodies, lupus anticoagulant, and genetic tests for the factor V Leiden and the C677T methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase gene mutation were determined. CD patients had a mean age of 56.31 years compared with 61.59 years for non-CD stroke patients (P=0.0002). Cardioembolism occurred in 56.38% of CD stroke patients compared with 9.33% in controls (P=0.000), whereas atherothrombotic strokes occurred in 8.51% of CD strokes versus 20% in controls (P=0.016), and small-vessel stroke in 9.57% of CD stroke patients versus 34.67% in controls (P=0.000). Apical aneurysm (37.23% versus 0.67%; OR, 88.39), left ventricular dilatation (23.4% versus 5.33%; OR, 5.42), mural thrombus (11.7 versus 2%; OR, 6.49) and abnormal electrocardiography (ECG) (66% versus 23.33%; OR, 2.87) were significantly higher in the group of chagasic stroke patients. No statistical differences were observed in thrombophilia between both groups. The significant variables that predicted CD stroke patients on a stepwise logistical regression model were apical aneurysm, cardiac insufficiency, ECG arrhythmia, female gender, and hypertension. Chagasic cardiomyopathy is independently associated with ischemic stroke, whereas hypercoagulable states do not appear to be major contributors to the excess stroke risk seen in patients with CD.Stroke 06/2005; 36(5):965-70. · 6.16 Impact Factor