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Chagas disease: Chronic Trypanosoma cruzi infection

Caryn Bern, MD, MPH
Section Editor
Peter F Weller, MD, MACP
Deputy Editor
Elinor L Baron, MD, DTMH


Chagas disease is caused by infection with the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi; the major manifestations are Chagas cardiomyopathy and gastrointestinal disease [1].

Issues related to the natural history, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and management of chronic Chagas disease will be reviewed here. Issues related to acute and congenital Chagas infection are discussed separately. (See "Chagas disease: Acute and congenital Trypanosoma cruzi infection".)

Issues related to the epidemiology and prevention of Chagas disease are discussed separately. (See "Chagas disease: Epidemiology and prevention".)

Issues related to cardiac and gastrointestinal Chagas are discussed separately. (See "Chagas heart disease: Clinical manifestations and diagnosis" and "Chagas heart disease: Treatment and prognosis" and "Chagas gastrointestinal disease".)


Overview — T. cruzi infection is characterized by two phases, acute and chronic (figure 1). The acute phase lasts 8 to 12 weeks after transmission. (See "Chagas disease: Acute and congenital Trypanosoma cruzi infection".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Oct 25, 2017.
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