Recent Developments in the Pathology of Chagas Disease with Emphasis on the Cardiovascular System
Our understanding of the pathology and pathogenesis of Chagas disease has undergone changes over the past several years. Cardiac imaging studies have demonstrated that even in the acute and indeterminate phases of the disease there are significant alterations in cardiac structure and function. These may have both therapeutic and prognostic implications. In recent years Chagas disease has become recognized and an important opportunistic infection in individuals with immunosuppression such as those with HIV/AIDS and as a result of organ transplantation. chagasic heart disease involves both inflammatory and ischemic changes and in recent years the role of the vasculature has received increasing attention. Pathogenic mechanisms have been explored to explain the myocardial dysfunction observed as a result of T. cruzi infection. T. cruzi infection activates several cardiovascular signaling pathways involving cytokines, nitric oxide, endothelin, kinins and the mitogen activated protein kinases leading to remodeling and cardiovascular dysfunction.
KeywordsIschemia Meningitis Choline Acetylcholine Vasculitis
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