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Document Details :
Title: Chagas disease: don’t forget it in Latin American patients with heart block!
Author(s): B.J.-M. Bantu Bimbi , P. Unger , J.-L. Vandenbossche , P.-G. Silance , Y. Van Laethem
Journal: Acta Cardiologica
Volume: 69 Issue: 2 Date: 2014
Chagas disease is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, and mostly affects poor rural populations of central and south America. It is mainly acquired by bugs (triatoma) but also by ingestion of the parasite (fresh fruit juices) or by foetal-maternal blood passing. Despite an important decrease in transmission during the last decades in several countries, millions of patients are still chronically infected and most of them are asymptomatic.
In 2012-2013, two cases were admitted in our cardiac intensive care unit (ICU) with heart block due to Chagas cardiomyopathy. Diagnosis was established by echocardiography and positive serological results for Trypanosoma cruzi. This report underlines that in cases of heart failure and conduction abnormalities of unclear aetiology, Chagas disease should be taken into consideration, even in patients originating from non-endemic countries.