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Rev Soc Bras Med Trop. 1998 May-Jun;31(3):301-14.

[Indeterminate form of Chagas disease: considerations about diagnosis and prognosis].

[Article in Portuguese]

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  • 1Hospital das ClĂ­nicas e na Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais.


The indeterminate form of Chagas' disease is defined by the absence of clinical, radiological and electrocardiographic manifestations of cardiac or digestive involvement in Trypanosoma cruzi chronic infected persons. When submitted to advanced cardiovascular tests, these patients may present significant abnormalities. However, the indeterminate form concept was reaffirmed as valid, since diagnostic criteria are simple and prognosis is benignant. In clinical practice, diagnostic difficulties are frequent, related to subjectivity and uncertain meaning of clinical, electrocardiographic and radiological findings. Moreover, indeterminate form prognosis is not equally good: after five to 10 years, a third of patients will have cardiopathy. Sudden death, a rare complication, may be the first manifestation of Chagas' disease. It is necessary to reappraise indeterminate form concept, redefining diagnostic criteria and therapeutic management. Clinical and noninvasive evaluation may allow individual risk stratification; therapeutic interventions may be beneficial in high risk groups. Since etiologic treatment may prevent cardiopathy, its role in indeterminate form management must be reassessed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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