Abdominal Ascariasis: Where to Focus on Imaging Studies


USG Ultrasonography
ERCP Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography
ALP Alkaline Phosphatase
CBD Common Bile Duct


Objective: To assess the various presentations of abdominal ascariasis and their imaging features for developing a comprehensive radiological evaluation protocol.

Methods: Demographic and clinical profile of 84 patients with abdominal ascariasis was noted. Patients were divided into 2 groups with age less than 20 comprising Group A and those with age greater than 20 Group B. All the patients had a routine lab workup and a dedicated USG scan to look for objective evidence of intestinal or hepatobiliary ascariasis. Any history of previous intervention (cholecystectomy or ERCP) was also sought.

Results: Abdominal ascariasis is more common in females observed in 62% of our patients. Peripheral eosinophilia was observed in 70 (83%) patients. We had 74 (88%) patients with intestinal ascariasis with 2 patients having appendicular ascariasis. Biliary ascariasis was observed in 20 (24%) patients and pancreatic ductal ascariasis in 6 (7%) patients. We found peritoneal ascariasis in 1 (2%) pediatric patient and 2 (3%) patients in our study had ascariasis associated with the liver abscess. OCH was observed in 4 patients while 2 patients presented with worm cholecystitis.

Conclusion: Peripheral eosinophilia can be used to select patients in endemic regions for undergoing a dedicated USG scan. USG is the investigation of choice for both intestinal and hepatobiliary ascariasis. Worm migration is more common in adults and is especially prevalent in individuals with previous history of ERCP or cholecystectomy.



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