Pneumonitis in Congenital Chagas' Disease

A Study of Ten Cases

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  • Department of Pathology, Hospital Martagāo Gesteira (Liga Baiana contra Mortalidade Infantil), Department of Pathology, Hospital de Base (Fundaçāo Hospitalar do Distrito Federal), Bahia, Brazil
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Ten cases of pneumonitis in congenital Chagas' disease are described. Amastigotes were found in the lungs in seven cases, and in two of these cases parasitized cells were seen in the alveolar lumen. In five cases parasites were found both in the lungs and in the amniotic epithelium of the extraplacental membranes and umbilical cord. The authors conclude that infection of the amniotic epithelium originated in the lungs and was carried by the amniotic fluid, and emphasize the epidemiological importance of infection of the amniotic fluid as a probable means of transmission of Chagas' disease among professionals working in the area of obstetrics.