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versão impressa ISSN 0120-4157


MORA, Guillermo et al. Frequency of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in patients with implanted pacemaker. Biomédica [online]. 2007, vol.27, n.4, pp.483-489. ISSN 0120-4157.

Introduction. In Colombia the impact of infections of Trypanosoma cruzi are known to produce chronic cardiopathy and expressed by bradycardia. In Colombia the extent and impact of these infections has not been examined. Objective. The current study aimed to determine the prevalence of T. cruzi infection as measured by serology, in a population of patients with cardiopathy that required a permanent pacemaker as treatment for cardiac rhythm abnormalities and conduction blocking. Materials and methods. A cross sectional study sampled 332 patients from the pacemaker clinic at the San Pedro Claver Hospital in Bogotá, Colombia, for one year (2004-2005). Epidemiological and clinical data were obtained through interviews and physical examination. Serological tests consisted of indirect inmunofluorescence assay and ELISA. Statistical analyses were accomplished with chi-square and Students’ t tests. Results. Of patients with pacemakers, 17.1% had anti-T. cruzi antibodies (seropositive). At the time when the pacemaker was implanted, chronic Chagas’ disease patients were younger (55±13 years) than those patients with cardiopathy (60±17 years) with no anti-T. cruzi antibodies (p<0.01). The seropositive group was aware of the Chagas’ disease vector (83.6%) in contrast to the seronegative group (39.6%, p<0.001). In 60% of the patients of the seropositive group, no clinical signs of the disease were apparent. The geographical origin of the seropositive group were traced to regions in Colombia known to be endemic for Chagas´ disease transmission. Conclusion. Chagas´ disease prevalence is high in Colombian patients who required a permanent cardiac pacemaker. Chronic Chagas’ disease patients required pacemaker implant at a younger age in contrast with patients with other cardiac pathologies. The clinical recognition of Chagas´ disease associated with cardiopathy is low despite the epidemiological data.

Palavras-chave : Trypanosoma cruzi; Chagas cardiomyopathy; bradycardia; pacemaker, artificial; prevalence; Colombia.

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