Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)TiHo eLib

Chagas disease : medical and ECG related findings in an indigenous population in Colombia

Chagas Disease (CD) is highly prevalent among the indigenous populations in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia. Villages examined show prevalence rates ranging from 43.6% up to 67.4%. In the present study, associated medical conditions were assessed with a particular focus on ECG alterations. CD diagnosis was based on a rapid test, two different ELISAs, and a specific and highly sensitive Chagas real-time PCR. In both CD positive and CD negative patients, relations of the status and medical (physical examination-based, questionnaire-based) and/or electrocardiogram-based findings were investigated. As expected, CD-associated symptoms and complaints were predominantly found in CD-positive patients. Interestingly, ECG-findings were found to show the potential of leading to early CD diagnosis because ECG alterations were already seen in early stagechanges of the disease. In conclusion, although the observed ECG changes are unspecific, they should be considered as an indicator for a CD screening and, in case of positive results, an associated early treatment of the disease.

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