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
- Chest X-ray, which lets your doctor see if your heart is enlarged
- Echocardiogram, a test that uses sound waves to capture moving images of your heart, allowing your doctor to see any changes to the heart or its function
- 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
- Rassi Jr A, et al. American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease). Infectious Disease Clinics of North America. 2012;26:275.
- Papadakis MA, ed., et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2014. 53rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=1. Accessed March 11, 2014.
- Ribeiro AL, et al. Diagnosis and management of Chagas disease and cardiomyopathy. Nature Reviews Cardiology. 2012;9:576.
- Chagas disease: Detailed FAQs. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/chagas/gen_info/detailed.html. Accessed March 12, 2014.
- Beryn C, et al. Trypanosoma cruzi and Chagas' Disease in the United States. Clinical Microbiology Review. 2011;24:655.
- Beryn C. Chagas disease: Management of acute disease, early chronic disease, and disease in immunocompromised hosts. http:www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 11, 2014.
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