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Changes in myocardial injury indicators in naturally infected dogs with visceral leishmaniasis

The aim of this study was to evaluate the laboratory indicators, electrocardiographic and cardiac histological lesions in different clinical groups of dogs with visceral leishmaniasis. Serum markers were analyzed in conjunction with the electrocardiographic tracing and heart tissue fragments of 41 naturally infected dogs which were divided into three groups: asymptomatic, oligosymptomatic and symptomatic. All animals showed increased activity in serum creatine kinase MB fraction. In the electrocardiographic tracing, low voltage complex was the most frequent conduction disorder (8/12). In the histological analysis, 75.6% of the dogs showed inflammatory reaction with predominance of linfohistiocítico infiltrates (13/31) of mild to moderate intensity and multifocal distribution. Microscopic changes identified in the myocardium were independent laboratory findings, an electrocardiographic and clinical picture presented by the studied animals. The lack of association between histopathological changes and the parameters investigated indicate the difficulty in disease identification in dogs with visceral leishmaniasis and highlights the importance of including visceral leishmaniasis in the diagnosis of heart disease especially in endemic regions to the agent.

biochemical markers; cardiomyopathy; enzymes; Leishmania; myocarditis

Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Escola de Veterinária Caixa Postal 567, 30123-970 Belo Horizonte MG - Brazil, Tel.: (55 31) 3409-2041, Tel.: (55 31) 3409-2042 - Belo Horizonte - MG - Brazil