[Congenital Chagas disease: Experience in the Hospital de Ninos, Ricardo Gutierrez, Buenos Aires, Argentina]
Epidemiological, clinical, diagnostic, and therapeutic data from children who were born to mothers infected with T. cruzi who came to our hospital are presented. In addition, we exhibit the preliminary results of a technique that detects the anti F2/3 antibodies: these would be able to confirm the cure earlier than conventional serology. We also show the results of PCR diagnosis. Most of the mothers (76,1%) resided in Argentina, the rest were from Bolivia and Paraguay The median average age at diagnosis of the patients was 8,5 months (range 15 days-10 years). Out of 168 children, 64,98% were asymptomatic at diagnosis. The diagnosis criteria were: T. cruzi observation by microhematocrit technique in patients less than 7 month old. Two reactive serological tests in patients older than 8 months. A nifurtimox dose used in these patients was 10-13 mg/kg/d during 60 days. Although 31% presented side effects, none of them had to be dropped from the treatment. Cure criteria was conventional serology negativization. Of the patient population, we cured 87,2% of them, 98% of those under 3 years, and 100% of those who received treatment before age 8 months. We compared the time of negativization between conventional serology and anti F2/3 in 21 children. The latter were very useful to demonstrate (p>0,001) the success of the treatment, in those that started treatment after 8 months of age. PCR testing of a group of all patients, showed a diagnostic sensibility of 80,3% and a specificity of 97,8%.