In a previously performed 15-year prospective study of seropositive chagasic persons living in a rural area, we detected (using conventional methods) 37/128 (17%) patients with chronic chagasic myocarditis. During the last 5 years attempts have been made to find methods capable of earlier detection. For this purpose spectral and temporal domains of heart rate variability and nonlinear modeling techniques of 2048 consecutive RR intervals were performed in 27 asymptomatic seropositive chagasic persons without evidence of chronic chagasic myocarditis, and in 31 age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers. In both groups, clinical evaluation, chest x-rays, echocardiograms and electrocardiograms were normal. The difference between groups was striking since high frequency component of spectral heart rate variability, correlation dimension and Kolmogorov entropy showed a statistical difference (p < 0.01; p < 0.001; and p < 0.001, respectively). In conclusion, heart rate variability and nonlinear modeling techniques may be useful to detect very early stages of chronic chagasic myocarditis which can be missed by conventional, noninvasive methods. This can lead to earlier treatment capable of preventing or delaying the advanced forms of this disease.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Journal of Investigative Medicine|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1996|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)