Clinical aspects of the Chagas' heart disease.

Division of Cardiology, Long Island College Hospital, Brooklyn, NY, USA.
International journal of cardiology (Impact Factor: 6.18). 03/2007; 115(3):279-83. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2006.03.004
Source: PubMed

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: Chronic chagasic cardiomyopathy is an inflammatory disease that occurs in approximately 30 % of patients infected by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, and it has a profile of high morbidity and mortality. The worst prognosis and the progression of this cardiomyopathy are associated with an exacerbated immune response and the production of proinflammatory cytokines, which also occur in other cardiomyopathies. Some nutrients, including omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), promote the inhibition and/or stimulation of cytokine production. The objective of this trial is to study the effects of omega-3 PUFA supplementation on the inflammatory response and lipid profile in patients with chronic chagasic cardiomyopathy. This is a parallel, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial with 40 patients that will be conducted at a reference unit for Chagas disease patients, where the patients will be selected. The study will include patients with chronic chagasic cardiomyopathy who are 18 years of age or older. The exclusion criteria are (a) ongoing diarrheal disease, (b) inflammatory bowel disease, (c) diabetes or other endocrine disease, (d) use of fibrates, niacin, or statins, (e) use of anti-inflammatory drugs, (f) pregnant and lactating women, (g) use of vitamin, mineral, or omega-3 supplementation during the previous 30 days, (h) hospital admission during the study, and (i) other associated cardiomyopathies. The intervention will be treatment with omega-3 PUFAs at a dose of 3 g/day for 8 weeks, compared to placebo (corn oil). The primary endpoints will be the concentrations of inflammatory markers (interleukin (IL)-1, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)alpha, interferon (IFN)gamma, and transforming growth factor (TGF)beta). Secondary endpoints will be the fasting glucose, lipid, and anthropometric profiles. For statistical analysis, we plan to run either a t test or Wilcoxon test (numerical variables) and Pearson's chi2 or Fisher's exact test (categorical data), as appropriate. Evidence suggests that the anti-inflammatory action of omega-3 PUFAs may have beneficial effects on chronic chagasic cardiomyopathy, as shown for other cardiomyopathies, due to improved control of the inflammatory response. At the end of the study, we predict that patients will have lower inflammatory markers and an improved metabolic and anthropometric profile.Trial registration: Current Controlled Trials NCT01863576.
    Trials 11/2013; 14(1):379. · 2.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The nematode Strongyloides stercoralis has a very particular autoinfection life-cycle which leads to chronic infections remaining undetected for decades. However, hyperinfection can occur in patients receiving immunotherapy resulting in high mortality rates. The main objective of this study was to assess the results of a 10-year multicenter surveillance program performed in an area with dense immigration in Barcelona, Spain. METHODS: From January 2003 to December 2012, all individuals with Strongyloides stercoralis infection attending the four centers with diagnostic capability in the North Metropolitan area of Barcelona were recorded. RESULTS: The annual detection rate was 0.2 new diagnosed cases x10 000 inhabitants/year and 1 case x10 000 immigrants/year. Many patients were immigrants (63; 90.0%), asymptomatic (45; 64.3%) and with a high eosinophil count (n?, 90.0%). Immunosuppression was present in 11 (15.7%) patients, among whom two (2.8%) cases of disseminated hyperinfection were recorded. Ivermectin was prescribed in 45 (76.3%) and albendazole in 14 (23.7%). Following treatment seven patients (11.9%) receiving albendazole presented relapse, that is, albendazole failed to clear the parasite in 50% of these drug-treated patients (p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: During the study period, 90% of the cases of Strongyloides stercoralis diagnosed could be considered as imported by immigrants, most being asymptomatic and with eosinophilia. The infection is probably largely underestimated and population-based studies are needed to determine its true prevalence. Meanwhile, diagnosis must be based on active investigation of the helminth (serology and feces culture), especially in immunocompromised patients. The implementation of pre-immunosuppression protocols with the aim of identifying Strongyloides stercoralis is encouraged with empirical treatment with ivermectin being recommended in sites without diagnostic facilities.
    Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 06/2013; · 1.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Diagnosis, prognosis and evaluation of death risk in Chagas cardiomyopathy still constitute a challenge due to the diversity of manifestations, which determine the importance of using echocardiography, tissue Doppler and biomarkers. To evaluate, within a systematic review, clinical and echocardiographic profiles of patients with chronic chagasic cardiomyopathy, which may be related to worse prognosis and major mortality risk. To perform the systematic review, we used Medline (via PubMed), LILACS and SciELO databases to identify 82 articles published from 1991 to 2012, with the following descriptors: echocardiography, mortality and Chagas disease. We selected 31 original articles, involving diagnostic and prognostic methods. The importance of Chagas disease has increased due to its emergence in Europe and United States, but most evidence came from Brazil. Among the predictors of worse prognosis and higher mortality risk are morphological and functional alterations in the left and right ventricles, evaluated by conventional echocardiography and tissue Doppler, as well as the increase in brain natriuretic peptide and troponin I concentrations. Recently, the evaluations of dyssynchrony, dysautonomia, as well as strain, strain rate and myocardial twisting were added to the diagnostic arsenal for the early differentiation of Chagas cardiomyopathy. Developments in imaging and biochemical diagnostic procedures have enabled more detailed cardiac evaluations, which demonstrate the early involvement of both ventricles, allowing a more accurate assessment of the mortality risk in Chagas disease.
    Arquivos brasileiros de cardiologia. 07/2014; 102(6):602-610.