Early detection of myocardial dysfunction in Chagas disease using novel echocardiographic indices

Sophie Yacoub, Emma J. Birks, Zdenek Slavik, Michael Henein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The first manifestation of cardiac involvement in Chagas disease could be sudden death or rapid deterioration in cardiac function. The aim of this study was to identify a non-invasive method for early detection of cardiac involvement in patients with Chagas disease. During a 6-month period in 2001, 133 people were studied using echocardiography and electrocardiography in Honduras; 88 were seropositive for Trypanosoma cruzi, of which 31 were asymptomatic, and 45 were seronegative controls. The echocardiographic assessment included geometrical and time interval derived indices. Patients with asymptomatic Chagas disease had increased left and right myocardial performance index (MPI) when compared with seronegative controls (P = 0.003 and P = 0.023, respectively) with 36% having a left above the upper limit of the normal range. They also had a reduced diastolic posterior wall thickness (P = 0.005) and lower posterior wall thickness to left ventricular cavity (PWT:LVC) ratio (P = 0.002). Our results show that the MPI, a simple Doppler parameter, and the PWT:LVC ratio are useful in the early detection of myocardial involvement in asymptomatic patients with Chagas disease. These parameters could serve as useful screening tools and monitor the disease progression in these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)528-534
Number of pages7
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported in part by the Royal Society of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London UK (Gamham Fellowship 2001) and the British Heart Foundation (project grant PG/2001/142).


  • Chagas disease
  • Detection
  • Echocardiography
  • Electrocardiography
  • Honduras
  • Myocardial performance index
  • Screening
  • Trypanosoma cruzi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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