The significance of electrocardiographic (ECG) changes described in animals with Chagas' disease is questionable in view that other non-invasive comparisons have been lacking. 12-lead ECG and two-dimensional echocardiography (echo) was performed in 17 seropositive and 13 seronegative baboons. Similar to humans, a wide variety of ECG outcomes were observed in the infected animals. Standard ECG measurements were not different between groups. Five seropositive (29%) and 3 seronegative (23%) animals had low voltage; 4 seropositives (24%) and 2 (15%) seronegatives had tall P-waves. Precordial Q waves were seen in 10 seropositives (59%) and in 7 (54%) seronegatives without septal abnormalities on two-dimensional echo. One seropositive animal had a 2nd degree (Wenckebach) AV block and left anterior fascicular block. Most animals in both groups had diffuse T-wave abnormalities. Echo evidence of systolic dysfunction was found in 4 seropositives and in none of the controls; thus, chagasic heart disease was present in 24% of naturally infected baboons. Since most non-human primates, irrespective of their serology, have diffuse, nonspecific ECG changes not necessarily diagnostic of myocardial disease, two-dimensional echo should be added to their non-invasive assessment.
- Chagas' disease
- Trypanonosoma cruzi
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine