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About 20 to 30% of people with chronic Trypanosoma cruzi infection eventually develop clinical disease, predominantly cardiac. Cardiac disease usually begins with conduction abnormalities such as right bundle branch block and/or left anterior fascicular block, which may be followed years later by dilated cardiomyopathy. Later cardiac disease is sometimes accompanied by apical aneurysm and thrombus formation.

Less frequently, patients with Chagas disease experience gastrointestinal disease (megasyndromes). Once the characteristic pathology is established (e.g., dilated cardiomyopathy, megaesophagus), antiparasitic treatment will not reverse it.

Guidance for Evaluation and Treatment

For more detailed information on evaluation and treatment, the following links provide free access to review articles:

Page last reviewed: May 9, 2019