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Rapidly Progressing Chagas Cardiomyopathy

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  • Department of Cardiology, Olive View–University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center, Sylmar, California

Chagas disease, caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, can cause a potentially life-threatening cardiomyopathy in approximately 10–40% of afflicted individuals. The decline in cardiac function characteristically progresses over the course of many years. We report a case of Chagas disease in which the patient experienced an atypical rapid deterioration to severe cardiomyopathy over the course of 16 months. This case argues the need for increased routine surveillance for patients with confirmed T. cruzi infection, who are determined to be at high-risk for worsening cardiomyopathy.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to John Hollowed, Olive View Medical Center, Department of Medicine, 14445 Olive View Drive, Sylmar, CA 91342. E-mail: jhollowed@dhs.lacounty.gov

Authors' addresses: John Hollowed, Department of Medicine, Olive View Medical Center, Sylmar, CA, E-mail: jhollowed@dhs.lacounty.gov. Matthew McCullough, Department of Medicine, Olive View–UCLA Medical Center, Sylmar, CA, E-mail: mmccullough3@dhs.lacounty.gov. Daniel Sanchez, Mahmoud Traina, and Salvador Hernandez, Department of Cardiology, Olive View–UCLA Medical Center, Sylmar, CA, E-mails: dsanchez@dhs.lacounty.gov, mtraina@dhs.lacounty.gov, and shernandez@dhs.lacounty.gov. Efrain Murillo, Department of Medicine, Albert Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA, E-mail: efrainaguilarmurillo@gmail.com.