Following Latin American migration, Chagas disease has inevitably appeared in non-endemic countries in Europe and elsewhere. New policies are necessary to prevent transmission in those countries but the long, often undetected chronic period of the early stages of the disease also renders epidemiological studies important. The main objective of our study was to determine the presence of clinical, electrocardiogram (ECG) and echocardiographic abnormalities in a population of Latin American migrants infected with Trypanosoma cruzi at the moment of diagnosis. We performed a hospital-based observational study of 100 adult patients with newly diagnosed Chagas infection between January 2005 and December 2009. Thirtyseven patients were classified within the Brazilian Consensus on Chagas cardiomyopathy early cardiac stages (A or B1) and 49 presented pathological findings (stage B2) according to the Panamerican Health Organization Classification. Overall, 49 patients showed ECG and/or echocardiographic alterations. The presence of ECG and ecocardiographic alterations were significantly associated (p=0.038). The most frequent ECG and echocardiographic findings were right bundle branch block (12 cases) and impaired left ventricular wall relaxation (24 cases), respectively. In conclusion, ECG and echocardiographic alterations coherent with Chagas cardiomyopathy were found in a large proportion of newly diagnosed Latin American migrants infected with T. cruzi. In the mid-term, Chagas disease might become an important cause of chronic cadiomyopathy in our attendance area.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2011|