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Int J Cardiol. 2010 Nov 5;145(1):27-33. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2009.06.033. Epub 2009 Jul 21.

Antioxidant therapy attenuates oxidative insult caused by benzonidazole in chronic Chagas' heart disease.

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Departamento de Ecologia e Zoologia, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil.


Chronic chagasic cardiac patients are exposed to oxidative stress that apparently contributes to disease progression. Benznidazole (BZN) is the main drug used for the treatment of chagasic patients and its action involves the generation of reactive species. 41 patients with Chagas' heart disease were selected and biomarkers of oxidative stress were measured before and after 2 months of BZN treatment (5 mg/kg/day) and the subsequent antioxidant supplementation with vitamin E (800 UI/day) and C (500 mg/day) during 6 months. Patients were classified according to the modified Los Andes clinical hemodynamic classification in groups IA, IB, II and III, and the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione S-transferase (GST) and glutathione reductase (GR), as well as the contents of reduced glutathione (GSH), thiobarbituric acid reactive species (TBARS), protein carbonyl (PC), vitamin E and C and nitric oxide (NO), myeloperoxidase (MPO) and adenosine deaminase (ADA) activities were measured in their blood. Excepting in group III, after BZN treatment SOD, CAT, GPx and GST activities as well as PC levels were enhanced while vitamin E levels were decreased in these groups. After antioxidant supplementation the activities of SOD, GPx and GR were decreased whereas PC, TBARS, NO, and GSH levels were decreased. In conclusion, BZN treatment promoted an oxidative insult in such patients while the antioxidant supplementation was able to attenuate this effect by increasing vitamin E levels, decreasing PC and TBARS levels, inhibiting SOD, GPx and GR activities as well as inflammatory markers, mainly in stages with less cardiac involvement.

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