May 1964

Pulmonary Infarct Secondary to Dirofilaria Larvae

Author Affiliations


From the departments of pathology, Massachusetts Memorial Hospitals and Boston University Medical Center.

Arch Intern Med. 1964;113(5):702-705. doi:10.1001/archinte.1964.00280110082016

Dirofilaria is the generic name for long filiform nematodes that commonly infect dogs and other mammals. In Dirofilaria immitis infection, the adult parasite lodges in the right ventricular cavity and/or the pulmonary arteries and gives rise to circulating microfilaria. Despite its frequency in domesticated dogs, D immitis infection is rare, and subcutaneous or orbital infections by other species of Dirofilaria are uncommon. Faust1 reviewed the literature in 1957 and found only 37 cases of human infection; only three were D immitis (heart worm) infection. All of the other cases involved orbital or subcutaneous tissues and were classified as D conjunctivae or D repens infections. Other instances of subcutaneous infection have been reported by Sams and Beck,2 Jung and Harris,3 and Lenth.4 Dashiele 5 reported the first instance of human pulmonary involvement by recognizing larval dirofilariae in branches of the pulmonary artery within a "coin lesion." We

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