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Am J Cardiol. 2015 Jan 1;115(1):113-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2014.09.050. Epub 2014 Oct 14.

Development of chagas cardiac manifestations among Texas blood donors.

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Section of Tropical Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, National School of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.
Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center, Houston, Texas.
Section of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.
Section of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas. Electronic address:


Chagas disease, infection with the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, has recently been identified as an important emerging parasitic disease in the United States. To describe the cardiac abnormalities in T. cruzi-positive blood donors in southeastern Texas, a pilot study of donors who had screened positive from 2007 to 2012 was performed. This one-time assessment included (1) a questionnaire to evaluate the source of infection, cardiac symptoms, and health co-morbidities; (2) electrocardiography; (3) echocardiography if electrocardiographic findings were abnormal; and (4) measurement of a high-sensitivity troponin T biomarker. Of those with confirmed infection, 41% (7 of 17) had electrocardiographic abnormalities consistent with Chagas cardiomyopathy. In addition, 36% (6 of 17) were suspected to be locally acquired cases. High-sensitivity troponin T serum levels increased with cardiac severity. In conclusion, cardiologists should consider Chagas disease in their differential diagnoses for patients who may have clinically compatible electrocardiographic changes or nonischemic cardiomyopathy, even if the patients have no histories of residing in Chagas-endemic countries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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