Vol. 6 nº 3 - Jul/Aug/Set de 2012
Original Article Páginas: 180 a 187

Clinical assessment, neuroimaging and immunomarkers in Chagas disease study (CLINICS): rationale, study design and preliminary findings

Authors Jamary Oliveira-Filho; Jesângeli de S. Dias; Pedro A.P. Jesus; Nestor J.S.B. Neto; Roque Aras; Francisco J.F.B. Reis; Karen L. Furie


keywords: Chagas disease, stroke, cognitive impairment, brain atrophy, biomarkers.

Chagas disease (CD) is an important cause of cardiomyopathy and stroke in Brazil. Brain infarcts and atrophy seem to occur independently of cardiomyopathy severity and cognitive impairment is understudied.
OBJECTIVE: Compare the prevalence of brain magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities between patients with or without CD; determine if inflammatory biomarkers are increased in CD; and determine the efficacy of aspirin in reducing the rate of microembolization in these patients.
METHODS: 500 consecutive patients with heart failure will undergo a structured cognitive evaluation, biomarker collection and search for microembolic signals on transcranial Doppler. The first 90 patients are described, evaluated with cognitive tests and brain magnetic resonance imaging to measure N-acetyl aspartate (NAA), choline (Cho), myo-inositol (MI) and creatine (Cr).
RESULTS: Mean age was 55±11 years, 51% female, 38 (42%) with CD. Mean NAA/Cr ratio was lower in patients with CD as compared to other cardiomyopathies. Long-term memory and clock-drawing test were also significantly worse in CD patients. In the multivariable analysis correcting for ejection fraction, age, sex and educational level, reduced NAA/Cr (p=0.006) and cognitive dysfunction (long-term memory, p=0.023; clock-drawing test, p=0.015) remained associated with CD.
CONCLUSION: In this preliminary sample, CD was associated with cognitive impairment and decreased NAA/Cr independently of cardiac function or educational level.


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