A search for the multiplying forms of T. cruzi in extracardiac tissues from 20 autopsied cases of chronic Chagas' myocarditis resulted in 11 positive cases (55 per cent). The digestive tract was parasitized 10 times, adrenal 6 times and several other organs were affectedon single occasions. A mild mononuclear cell reaction um seen associated with the parasitism, but most of the time no changes were present. This study shows that T. cruzi amastigotes have a widespread distribution in chronic human infections but due to their scanty number, their detection depends on thorough microscopic examination. It is interesting to note that only in the myocardium did the parasites appear associated with a chronic, diffuse, active and fibrosing inflammatory reaction.
Chagasic cardiomiopathy; Trypanosoma cruzi; Pathology