ALTHOUGH it is universally agreed that ascariasis is the commonest helminthic infection in man, comprehensive studies on tropical diseases rarely emphasize the fact that ascariasis can attain dangerous proportions necessitating immediate surgical intervention. This has led the medical profession to assume an attitude of benign tolerance toward the disease.
Complications of ascariasis requiring surgical intervention have been frequently recorded in the literature. Since they are usually of a serious nature and offer a rather poor prognosis, it is imperative that the diagnosis be made early and treatment be promptly instituted.
Human infection from Ascaris lumbricoides is commonly observed where unsanitary conditions and squalid personal hygiene prevail. Infection begins by swallowing the fully embryonated eggs, which pass down the intestine to develop into larvae. The larvae penetrate the walls of the small intestine, reach the lymphatics and venules and are carried through the right side of the heart to the lungs.
OCHSNER A, DeBAKEY EG, DIXON JL. COMPLICATIONS OF ASCARIASIS REQUIRING SURGICAL TREATMENT: Report of Case with Abdominothoracic Complications. Am J Dis Child. 1949;77(3):389–407. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1949.02030040399013
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: