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Rev Soc Bras Med Trop. 2007 Jan-Feb;40(1):1-10.

Trypanocide treatment among adults with chronic Chagas disease living in Santa Fe city (Argentina), over a mean follow-up of 21 years: parasitological, serological and clinical evolution.

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Centro de Investigaciones sobre Endemias Nacionales, Facultad de Bioquímica y Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Santa Fe, Argentina.


The efficacy of treatment with nifurtimox and/or benznidazole among adults with chronic Chagas disease with no previous electrocardiographic disturbances was evaluated over a mean follow-up of 21 years, by means of conventional serology, xenodiagnosis, clinical examination, electrocardiograms and chest X-ray. One hundred and eleven patients, between 17 and 46 years old, were studied: 54 underwent treatment (nifurtimox 27, benznidazole 27) and 57 remained untreated (control group). Xenodiagnosis was performed on 65% of them: 36/38 of the treated and 9/34 of the untreated patients had previous positive xenodiagnosis. Post-treatment, 133 xenodiagnoses were performed on 41 patients, all resulting negative. In the control group, 29 xenodiagnoses were performed on 14 patients; 2 resulted positive. Sera stored during the follow-up were simultaneously analyzed through conventional serology tests (IHA; DA-2ME; IIF). The serological evolution in the treated group was: a) 37% underwent negative seroconversion (nifurtimox 11, benznidazole 9); b) 27.8% decreased titers (nifurtimox 9, benznidazole 6), 9 showed inconclusive final serology (nifurtimox 7, benznidazole 2); c) 35.2% remained positive with constant titers (nifurtimox 7; benznidazole 12). The control group conserved the initial antibody levels during the follow-up. In the clinical evolution, 2/54 (3.7%) of the treated and 9/57 (15.8%) of the untreated patients showed electrocardiographic disturbances attributable to Chagas myocardiopathy, with a statistically relevant difference (p<0.05). Treatment caused deparasitation in at least 37% of the chronically infected adults and a protective effect on their clinical evolution.

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