Pentoxifylline reduces inflammation and prevents myocardial perfusion derangements in experimental chronic Chagas' cardiomyopathy

J Nucl Cardiol. 2023 May 10. doi: 10.1007/s12350-023-03270-y. Online ahead of print.


Background: Myocardial perfusion defect (MPD) is common in chronic Chagas cardiomyopathy (CCC) and is associated with inflammation and development of left ventricular systolic dysfunction. We tested the hypothesis that pentoxifylline (PTX) could reduce inflammation and prevent the development of MPD in a model of CCC in hamsters.

Methods and results: We investigated with echocardiogram and rest myocardial perfusion scintigraphy at baseline (6-months after T. cruzi infection/saline) and post-treatment (after additional 2-months of PTX/saline administration), female Syrian hamsters assigned to 3 groups: T. cruzi-infected animals treated with PTX (CH + PTX) or saline (CH + SLN); and uninfected control animals (CO). At the baseline, all groups showed similar left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and MPD areas. At post-treatment evaluation, there was a significant increase of MPD in CH + SLN group (0.8 ± 1.6 to 9.4 ± 9.7%), but not in CH + PTX (1.9 ± 3.0% to 2.7 ± 2.7%) that exhibited MPD area similar to CO (0.0 ± 0.0% to 0.0 ± 0.0%). The LVEF decreased in both infected groups. Histological analysis showed a reduced inflammatory infiltrate in CH + PTX group (395.7 ± 88.3 cell/mm2), as compared to CH + SLN (515.1 ± 133.0 cell/mm2), but larger than CO (193.0 ± 25.7 cell/mm2). The fibrosis and TNF-α expression was higher in both infected groups.

Conclusions: The prolonged use of PTX is associated with positive effects, including prevention of MPD development and reduction of inflammation in the chronic hamster model of CCC.

Keywords: Chronic Chagas cardiomyopathy; coronary microcirculation; hamsters; inflammation; ventricular dysfunction.