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Cardiol Rev. 2012 Mar-Apr;20(2):53-65. doi: 10.1097/CRD.0b013e31823efde2.

Chagas heart disease: report on recent developments.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Immunology, Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.


Chagas disease, caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, is an important cause of cardiac disease in endemic areas of Latin America. It is now being diagnosed in nonendemic areas because of immigration. Typical cardiac manifestations of Chagas disease include dilated cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, cardioembolism, and stroke. Clinical and laboratory-based research to define the pathology resulting from T. cruzi infection has shed light on many of the cellular and molecular mechanisms leading to these manifestations. Antiparasitic treatment may not be appropriate for patients with advanced cardiac disease. Clinical management of Chagas heart disease is similar to that used for cardiomyopathies caused by other processes. Cardiac transplantation has been successfully performed in a small number of patients with Chagas heart disease.

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