Your doctor will conduct a physical exam, asking about your symptoms and any factors that put you at risk of Chagas disease.
If you have the signs and symptoms of Chagas disease, blood tests can confirm the presence of the T. cruzi parasite or the proteins that your immune system creates (antibodies) to fight the parasite in your blood.
If you're diagnosed with Chagas disease, you'll likely undergo additional tests to determine whether the disease has entered the chronic phase and caused heart or digestive complications. These tests may include:
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- Electrocardiogram, a procedure that records the electrical activity of your heart
- Abdominal X-ray, a procedure that uses radiation to capture images of your stomach, intestines and colon
- Upper endoscopy, a procedure in which you swallow a thin, lighted tube (endoscope) that transmits images of your esophagus onto a screen
- Chagas disease: Detailed FAQs. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/chagas/gen_info/detailed.html. Accessed May 4, 2011.
- Bern C. Epidemiology and control of Chagas disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed May 4, 2011.
- Bern C, et al. Evaluation and treatment of Chagas disease in the United States: A systematic review. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2007;298:2171.
- Yacoub S, et al. Neglected tropical cardiomyopathies: I. Chagas disease. Heart. 2008;94:244.
- Milei J, et al. Prognostic impact of Chagas disease in the United States. American Heart Journal. 2009;157:22.
- Rosenthal PJ. Protozoal & helminthic infections. In: McPhee SJ, et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2011. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=778139. Accessed May 4, 2011.
- Rassi Jr. A, et al. Chagas disease. The Lancet. 2010;375:1388.