Chagas disease (CD) is a chronic, neglected tropical disease in Latin America caused by the Trypanosoma cruzi protozoan and owing its high morbidity levels to the establishment of the chronic conditions. The infection by the parasite causes alterations in the enteric nervous system such as megaesophagus and megacolon. There is evidence of denervation of myenteric ganglia as a pathogenic mechanism of intestinal accompaniment. The best chance to avoid morbidity is the treatment of the disease at its early acute stages and novel therapeutic approaches are dependent in better understanding of the complex pathogenesis of this disease.
Megacolon is the chronic dilation of a colonic segment. Acquired enteric neurodegeneration of an originally healthy (normal ganglionic) segment is an important manifestation of at least 20% of patients suffering from Chagas’. During its chronic phase, myenteric neuron loss and irreversible dilation occur in the affected gut segment and the consequent dilation is termed as primary megacolon.