, Volume 97, Issue 2, pp 87-90
Date: 29 Jun 2005

Magnetic resonance imaging in experimental Chagas disease: a brief review of the utility of the method for monitoring right ventricular chamber dilatation

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Chagas’ disease caused by infection with Trypanosoma cruzi leads to a myocardiopathy that evolves from the acute to the chronic phase. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an important tool for monitoring cardiac morphology and function both in humans and in animals. In the present work, we present a brief review of MRI applications for the study of ventricular hypertrophy and dilatation of the right ventricle in murine models of Chagas’ disease. Studies using MRI demonstrate an increase in right ventricular chamber dimension during both phases of infection, indicating that increase of the right ventricle is a marker for experimental chagasic myocardiopathy. Based on previous studies using MRI in these models we propose that this technique is an excellent approach for monitoring heart functionality from the acute through the chronic phase of infection in different parasite–host pairs and for monitoring the efficacy of cardioprotective or immune-therapeutic agents.