Send to

Choose Destination
Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo. 1997 Jan-Feb;39(1):53-60.

Chronic chagasic cardiopathy: the product of a turbulent host-parasite relationship.

Author information

Departamento de Patologia, Instituto do Coraçilo, São Paulo, Brasil.


The pathogenesis of chronic chagasic cardiopathy is still a debated matter. In this review, the main theories raised about it since the first description of the disease in 1909 by Carlos Chagas, are considered. The scarcity of T.cruzi parasites into the myocardium and the apparent lack of correlation between their presence and the occurrence of myocardial inflammatory infiltrate, have originated many theories indicating that chronic Chagas' cardiopathy is an autoimmune disease. Recently however, papers using immunohistochemical technique or PCR have demonstrated a strong association between moderate or severe myocarditis and presence of T.cruzi Ags, indicating a direct participation of the parasite in the genesis of chronic chagasic myocarditis. Different patterns of cytokine production seem to have important role in the outcome of the disease. Participation of the microcirculatory alterations and fibrosis as well as the relationship with the parasite are also emphasized. Finally, the author suggests that the indeterminate form of the disease occurs when the host immunological response against the parasite is more efficient while the chronic cardiopathy occurs in patients with hyperergic and inefficient immune response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center