Title : Chagas cardiomyopathy - what every cardiologist needs to know
Abstract: Chagas disease (CD) is classified as a neglected tropical disease caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi. It affects around 6 to 8 million people worldwide, especially in Latin America but also in United States and Europe. Thirty percent of all CD patients progress to the most serious manifestation of CD, the Chagas Heart disease (CHD) with a high morbidity and mortality rates and a great impact for health and social systems. CHD is classified into four stages of increasing severity according to electrocardiographic, echocardiographic, and clinical criteria. Stage A – abnormal electrocardiogram and normal echocardiogram findings; Stage B1 - abnormal electrocardiogram and echocardiogram findings with a left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) > 45%; Stage B2 - abnormal electrocardiogram and echocardiogram findings with LVEF < 45% and no HF symptoms; Stage C - compensated HF; and stage D - refractory HF. The main clinical manifestations of CHD are cardiac arrhythmias, thromboembolism, and heart failure (HF) and has a higher incidence of sudden death and stroke than heart failure caused by other etiologies. Because of this, it is important to understand the clinical manifestations, diagnosis, risk stratification and specialized approach to help clinicians and cardiologists to better care of CHD patients using diagnostic tools and pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments.