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Clin Infect Dis. 1995 Sep;21(3):551-5.

Congenital Chagas' disease: diagnostic and clinical aspects.

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Parasitology Laboratory, Ricardo Gutierrez Children's Hospital, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


The diagnostic and clinical aspects of congenital Chagas' disease were studied in 71 children in Buenos Aires. The children's ages ranged from 2 days to 10 years. In infants < 6 months old, the disease was diagnosed by detection of Trypanosoma cruzi in the blood; the microhematocrit test was positive in 38 (97.4%) of 39 cases. This test was the fastest and most reliable diagnostic method in this group, whereas two conventional serological methods were useful in children > or = 6 months of age. Forty-six (64.8%) of the 71 children had no clinical signs of infection. The clinical sign most frequently documented was hepatomegaly (18.3%). Three children were coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus; the latter infection was severe in two instances. Nifurtimox (10-15 mg/[kg.d] for 2 months) was used for parasiticidal treatment, and use of this drug resulted in mild adverse effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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