[Clinical predictors of chronic chagasic myocarditis progression].

Servicio de Cardiología, Hospital Eva Perón, San Martín, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Revista Espa de Cardiologia (Impact Factor: 3.34). 09/2005; 58(9):1037-44. DOI: 10.1016/S1885-5857(06)60436-2
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Previous prognostic studies of Chagas' disease have focused on mortality associated with end-stage cardiopathy (i.e., heart failure). Our aim was to identify indicators of progression in early-stage Chagas' heart disease.
The study included 856 patients with 3 positive anti-Trypanosoma cruzi test results. Those with heart failure were excluded. Patients were divided into 3 clinical groups: those without heart disease (Group I); those with heart disease but without left ventricular enlargement (Group II); and those with left ventricular enlargement but without heart failure (Group III). The endpoint was progression to a more severe clinical stage or death due to cardiovascular disease. A Cox regression model was used to derive a clinical risk score from clinical, electrocardiographic and echocardiographic variables.
At study entry, the patients' mean age was 43.7 years. They were followed up for a mean of 8 years. The following were predictors of heart disease progression: age at entry (HR=1.05; 95% CI, 1.02-1.07; P<.001), left ventricular systolic diameter (HR=1.06; 95% CI, 1.04-1.09; P<.001), intraventricular conduction abnormalities (HR=1.85; 95% CI, 1.02-3.36; P=.04), and sustained ventricular tachycardia (HR=3.97; 95% CI, 1.65-9.58; P=.002). Treatment with benznidazole reduced the risk of progression (HR=0.40; 95% CI, 0.23-0.72; P=.002). The devised clinical risk score was effective in stratifying the likelihood of cardiopathy progression.
Specific clinical indicators and a derived clinical risk score can be used to predict the progression of chronic chagasic myocarditis in patients without heart failure.

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    Revista Espa de Cardiologia 09/2005; 58(9):1007–1009. · 3.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Given current neglect for Chagas disease in public health programs in Mexico, future healthcare and economic development policies will need a more robust model to analyze costs and impacts of timely clinical attention of infected populations. A Markov decision model was constructed to simulate the natural history of a Chagas disease cohort in Mexico and to project the associated short and long-term clinical outcomes and corresponding costs. The lifetime cost for a timely diagnosed and treated Chagas disease patient is US$ 10,160, while the cost for an undiagnosed individual is US$ 11,877. The cost of a diagnosed and treated case increases 24-fold from early acute to indeterminate stage. The major cost component for lifetime cost was working days lost, between 44% and 75%, depending on the program scenario for timely diagnosis and treatment. In the long term, it is cheaper to diagnose and treat chagasic patients early, instead of doing nothing. This finding by itself argues for the need to shift current policy, in order to prioritize and attend this neglected disease for the benefit of social and economic development, which implies including treatment drugs in the national formularies. Present results are even more relevant, if one considers that timely diagnosis and treatment can arrest clinical progression and enhance a chronic patient's quality of life.
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