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Int J Cardiol. 2005 Jul 10;102(2):211-7.

Weekly electrocardiographic pattern in mice infected with two different Trypanosoma cruzi strains.

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  • 1Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Santa Rosa 1085, CP:5000 Córdoba, Argentina.



Chagas' disease, which is caused by Trypanosoma cruzi, affects 20 million people. The electrocardiographic alterations are usually the first evidence of disease progression. In this work, we evaluated if two different T. cruzi strains presented electrocardiographic and heart histopathological alterations that could be characteristic and only achieved to the parasite strain. The moment when the electric alterations began was also studied.


Albino mice (n=100) were inoculated with 50 (n=50) and 500 (n=50) trypomastigotes of T. cruzi, for Tulahuen strain and SGO-Z12 isolate, respectively. Electrocardiograms were obtained before infection and once a week from 7 to 147 days post infection (d.p.i). Dipolar and unipolar leads were analyzed. Hearts were removed by necropsy on 14, 90 and 147 d.p.i. Each heart was cut horizontally into 5-mum sections and they were stained with Hematoxilin-Eosine.


At 147 d.p.i., 30% of Tul-infected mice were found alive, while in the SGO-Z12 infected group, 75% were alive at the same moment. The Tul-infected group showed more intraventricular blockage alterations than the other groups from 49 to 70 d.p.i, (p<0.01). No structural cardiac alterations were detected in SGO-Z12-infected mice at 7 d.p.i., while the Tul-infected group showed mononuclear cell infiltrates. At 147 d.p.i., fiber disorganization and cell infiltration were observed in the SGO-Z12 and Tul-infected groups.


We demonstrated that T. cruzi Tulahuen strain and SGO-Z12 isolate determined different electrocardiographic alterations which were characteristic for each stage of the experimental Chagas' disease. These results highlight the importance of the T. cruzi strain in the severity of the cardiopathy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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