Author(s): Blum JA, Zellweger MJ, Burri C, Hatz C
Abstract Share this page
Abstract American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease) and human African trypanosomiasis (HAT; sleeping sickness) are both caused by single-celled flagellates that are transmitted by arthropods. Cardiac problems are the main cause of morbidity in chronic Chagas disease, but neurological problems dominate in HAT. Physicians need to be aware of Chagas disease and HAT in patients living in or returning from endemic regions, even if they left those regions long ago. Chagas heart disease has to be taken into account in the differential diagnosis of cardiomyopathy, primarily in patients with pathological electrocardiographic (ECG) findings, such as right bundle branch block or left anterior hemiblock, with segmental wall motion abnormalities or aneurysms on echocardiography, and in young patients with stroke in the absence of arterial hypertension. In HAT patients, cardiac involvement as seen by ECG alterations, such as repolarisation changes and low voltage, is frequent. HAT cardiopathy in general is benign and does not cause relevant congestive heart failure and subsides with treatment. We review the differences between the American and African trypanosomiasis with the main focus on the heart.
This article was published in Lancet Infect Dis
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals