Reactivation of Chagas' disease in a human immunodeficiency virus-infected patient leading to severe heart disease with a late positive direct microscopic examination of the blood

Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1998 Nov;59(5):784-6. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.1998.59.784.


We report a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected man with chronic Chagas' disease who developed a congestive heart failure that could not be clinically controlled. Endomyocardial biopsy revealed severe myocarditis and the xenodiagnosis result was positive, but Trypanosoma cruzi by direct microscopic examination of the blood was found only four months after the symptoms had started. Treatment with benznidazole was effective in reducing parasitemia, stabilizing the clinical status, and controlling tissue damage related to the parasite. Although the finding of T. cruzi trypomastigotes by direct microscopic examination of the blood has been considered the mark of Chagas' reactivation in immunocompromised patients with chronic disease, in this case it was a late finding.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / complications*
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Chagas Disease / complications*
  • Chagas Disease / parasitology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Heart Diseases / complications*
  • Heart Diseases / parasitology
  • Heart Diseases / pathology
  • Heart Failure / complications
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Male
  • Myocarditis / complications
  • Myocarditis / parasitology
  • Myocarditis / pathology
  • Recurrence
  • Trypanosoma cruzi / isolation & purification