Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Review
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Developments in the management of Chagas cardiomyopathy.

Over 100 years have elapsed since the discovery of Chagas disease and there is still much to learn regarding pathogenesis and treatment. Although there are antiparasitic drugs available, such as benznidazole and nifurtimox, they are not totally reliable and often toxic. A recently released negative clinical trial with benznidazole in patients with chronic Chagas cardiomyopathy further reinforces the concerns regarding its effectiveness. New drugs and new delivery systems, including those based on nanotechnology, are being sought. Although vaccine development is still in its infancy, the reality of a therapeutic vaccine remains a challenge. New ECG methods may help to recognize patients prone to developing malignant ventricular arrhythmias. The management of heart failure, stroke and arrhythmias also remains a challenge. Although animal experiments have suggested that stem cell based therapy may be therapeutic in the management of heart failure in Chagas cardiomyopathy, clinical trials have not been promising.

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