A Systematic Review of Studies on Heart Transplantation for Patients With End-Stage Chagas’ Heart Disease

Published:December 29, 2008DOI:



      Uncertainties regarding indications for the procedure, proper immunosuppressive regimen, and the fear of Trypanosoma cruzi infection reactivation are major concerns regarding heart transplantation (HTx) for patients with end-stage Chagas’ heart disease.

      Methods and Results

      To review indications for HTx, current immunosuppressive therapy, posttransplant morbidities, and outcome in Chagas’ heart transplant recipients. Review of articles linking HTx and Chagas’ disease at PubMed and Scielo database from 1966 onward. HTx can reasonably be indicated in patients with an annual probability of death of 70%. HTx has been associated with a similar incidence of rejection episodes in Chagas’ and non-Chagas’ heart transplant recipients. A lower incidence of infection episodes has been observed in Chagas’ in comparison to non-Chagas’ heart transplant recipients. T. cruzi infection reactivation is easily treated with either benznidazole or allopurinol and portends a very low mortality rate. Other posttransplant morbidities have a similar incidence in Chagas’ and in non-Chagas’ patients. Survival probability for Chagas’ HTx recipients at 1 month, 1 year, 4 years, and 10 years follow-up is 83%, 71%, 57%, and 46%, respectively. Such an outcome is better than that seen in non-Chagas’ heart transplant recipients.


      HTx is safe and efficacious for patients with end-stage Chagas’ heart disease.

      Key Words

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