Volume 36, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Electromyographic and histopathologic studies were performed in Rockland mice chronically infected with CA-I strain. At 4 months post-infection the emg failed to show spontaneous activity, but a diminished interference pattern was detected in half of the infected group, while mean motor unit potential amplitude and duration were increased, compared with controls. An active denervation was observed at 6 months which persisted up to 9 months, when motor unit potential showed a significantly lower mean activity and duration. At 12 months most of the infected mice developed a reduced interference pattern, polyphasic motor unit potential increase with higher duration and amplitude than controls. Histopathologic studies showed myositis with perivascular involvement as well as intramuscular neuritis, especially at 4 and 12 months. Atrophic and hypertrophic fibers were seen. Few amastigote nests were detected. Inflammatory neuropathy with the demyelinated fibers and scanty axonal degeneration were the most common features in all infected mice. Mild myelinated fiber loss was only evident after 12 months. Endoneural parasites were seen only in the perineural macrophagic cells. These findings suggest that the neurogenic mechanism involved in the pathogenesis of muscle damage in this experimental model of chronic Chagas' disease consistently has been overlooked. The features registered here suggest that -infected mice developed a bimodal muscle denervation with an early acute period at any time before month 4, followed by reinnervation with a subsequent new acute denervation period by month 6, followed in turn by a slow later reinnervation.


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