Electrocardiographic characterization in Trypanosoma cruzi reinfected mice
Chagas' disease, caused by Trypanosoma cruzi, affects approximately 20 million people. There are 3 stages in the disease: acute, intermediate and chronic, the diversity and severity of the symptoms range from a mild electrocardiographic alteration to sudden death. We have previously demonstrated that when reinfections were carried out in the acute phase they produce greater cardiac damage. The aim of the present work was to investigate whether T. cruzi reinfected mice present electrocardiographic abnormalities that could be characteristic and only achieved after reinfections. Of the mice reinfected during the acute phase 100% showed abnormalities from days 90 post-infection, with a predominance of auricle ventricle blocks (67–71%). All the mice reinfected during the chronic infection showed electrocardiographic alteration after 30 days post-first reinfection. Of the mice infected, without reinfection, 60% exhibited electrocardiographic dysfunction at 90 days post-infection. Our results demonstrated that when the host was reinfected in the acute phase, more serious electrocardiographic alterations were developed than when the reinfections were carried out in the chronic stage. Sudden death described in some chagasic patients, might be related to some of the findings described here.(Received April 12 2003)
(Revised September 30 2003)
(Accepted October 6 2003)
Key Words: Trypanosoma cruzi; electrocardiography; reinfection.
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