Leishmaniasis and Heart




Juan Mª Farina, Division of Cardiology, Clínica Olivos, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Carlos E. García-Martínez, Division of Cardiology, Centro Cardiovascular Avanzado, Guatemala City, Guatemala
Clara Saldarriaga, Department of Cardiology and Heart Failure Clinic, Cardiovascular Clinic Santa Maria, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia
Gonzalo E. Pérez, Division of Cardiology, Clínica Olivos, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Marcia Barbosa de Melo, Division of Cardiology, Hospital Socor, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Fernando Wyss, Technology and Cardiovascular Service of Guatemala - Cardiosolutions, Guatemala City, Guatemala
Álvaro Sosa-Liprandi, Servicio de Cardiología, Sanatorio Güemes, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Hector I. Ortiz-Lopez, Division of Cardiology, Hospital Roosevelt, Guatemala City, Guatemala
Shyla Gupta, Division of Cardiology, Kingston Health Science Center, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Ricardo López-Santi, Division of Cardiology, Hospital Italiano de La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Ivan Mendoza, Department of Cardiology, Tropical Medicine Institute, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela
Adrian Baranchuk, Division of Cardiology, Queen`s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada


As one of the neglected tropical diseases, leishmaniasis is defined as a parasitic communicable disease that is most prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions, affecting especially populations living in poverty. It has a profound negative impact on developing economies. It represents a group of heterogeneous syndromes with a wide spectrum of severity ranging from self-resolving cutaneous injuries to disseminated visceral compromise. Visceral leishmaniasis represents its most severe form, can affect almost all organs, and can have fatal consequences, especially in immunosuppressed patients. Cardiac involvement seems to be rare but has not been deeply studied. Consequently, there are no clear recommendations for the screening of cardiac manifestations in these patients. However, cardiovascular complications could be potentially lethal. In addition, there are valuable reports on the potential cardiotoxicity caused by drugs used in the treatment of this condition, so knowledge of its side effects could have important implications. This article is a part of the “Neglected Tropical Diseases and other Infectious Diseases affecting the Heart” project (the NET-Heart Project); its purpose is to review all the information available regarding cardiac implications of this disease and its treatment and to add knowledge to this field of study, focusing on the barriers for diagnosis and treatment, and how to adopt strategies to overcome them.



Keywords: Leishmaniasis. Cardiac disease. Neglected diseases.