Chagas disease


Generally, the diagnosis include an assessment of symptoms and risk, and conduct of a physical examination. The diagnosis is then confirmed through a straightforward blood test that detects the presence of antibodies against the parasite.

Upon a positive diagnosis and a thorough examination of the medical history, several tests may be required to exclude any potential heart or gastrointestinal complications.

Tests that may be ordered include:

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG, ECG): It records the electrical activity of the heart using electrodes applied to the skin.
  • Echocardiogram: It produces a thorough picture of the heart using sound waves.
  • Chest X-ray: The diagnostic procedure that shows whether the heart is enlarged.
  • Abdominal X-ray: The pictures of the colon, intestines, and stomach are produced using radiation technology.
  • Upper endoscopy: It projects images of the esophagus into a screen using an endoscope.


The treatment of Chagas disease depends on the severity of the condition. Timely administration of treatment typically results in a full recovery for most cases. Generally, the treatment focuses on eradicating the parasite and controlling the symptoms.

Benznidazole and nifurtimox are antiparasitic drugs that can be effective during the acute stage of Chagas disease. However, once the disease progresses to the chronic stage, medication is no longer considered a curative option. Nonetheless, individuals under the age of 50 may still be prescribed these drugs as they can potentially slow down the disease’s advancement and prevent further complications.

Additional inter vention may be necessary if there are cardiac or intestinal complications resulting from the disease:

  • Digestive complications: Medication, corticosteroids, diet modifications, and surgery are among the treatment options for these cases.
  • Complications in the heart: Medication, a pacemaker, or other heart rhythm control devices, surgery, or heart transplant, may be used as forms of treatment.