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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


CAPPS, Linnea  and  ABAD, Begoña. Chagas cardiomyopathy and serologic testing in a small rural hospital in Chiapas, Mexico. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2004, vol.15, n.5, pp.337-340. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVES: To conduct a study in a small rural hospital located in the state of Chiapas, Mexico, to: (1) examine the prevalence of chagasic cardiomyopathy among patients with the diagnosis of congestive heart failure and (2) assess the prevalence of positive serologic results in blood donors in the hospital, in an attempt to ascertain whether Chagas' disease remains an important cause of heart failure at least in some areas of Mexico. METHODS: The study of patients with cardiomyopathy was conducted by retrospective chart review of patients with the diagnosis of congestive heart failure treated at the hospital during the years 2000­2002. With the blood donors, the results of their serologic screening were reviewed for a six-month period beginning in April 2002. Serologic testing was done in both groups with either indirect hemagglutination (IHA) or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), or with both. RESULTS: Of 67 patients with heart failure and no risk factors for other causes of heart failure, 40 of them had serologic tests performed. Thirty-three of these 40 (82.5%) were positive by ELISA, IHA, or both. With 97 blood donors, one or both serologic tests were positive in 17 of them (17.5%). CONCLUSIONS: This research adds to the evidence that Chagas' disease continues to be a major cause of heart failure in some areas of Mexico and that there continues to be a risk of transmission by blood transfusion if donated blood is not consistently screened.

Keywords : Chagas disease; Chagas cardiomyopathy; Trypanosoma cruzi; electrocardiography; seroepidemiologic studies; Mexico.

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