Sparganosis, an infection due to the plerocercoid of Spirometra erinacei, are found worldwide but the majority of cases occur in East Asia including Korea. This report is on a recurred case of sparganosis in the subcutaneous tissue of the right lower leg 1 year after a surgical removal of a worm from a similar region. At admission, ultrasonography (USG) of the lesion strongly suggested sparganosis, and a worm was successfully removed which turned out to be a sparganum with scolex. Since sparganum has a variable life span, and may develop into a life-threatening severe case, a patient once diagnosed as sparganosis should be properly followed-up for a certain period of time. Although imaging modalities were useful for the diagnosis of sparganosis as seen in this case, serological test such as ELISA should also be accompanied so as to support the preoperative diagnosis.
Spirometra erinacei; sparganum; sparganosis; ultrasonography
Central nervous system (CNS) sparganosis is a rare parasitic infestation caused by ingestion of the raw or inadequately cooked snakes or frogs. Sparganum is well known for its ability of migrating though the tissue, therefore, it can cause various neurological symptoms if it involves neurological systems. A 51-year-old male patient visited our department of neurosurgery complaining of the motor weakness and radiating pain on both upper extremities over 4 months. He had a history of ingesting raw snakes untill his late twenties. The magnetic resonance (MR) images of cervical spine revealed an intramedullary ill-defined enhancing lesion with the aggregated cysts in the upper cervical spinal cord. Under presumptive diagnosis of sparganosis, we took brain MR image. The brain MR images revealed the signal change in right fronto-temporal lobe suggesting the trajectory of parasitic migration via ventricular systems. He underwent a midline myelotomy and granuloma removal followed by the posterior laminoplasty. Pathologic findings showed inflammatory changes and necrosis with keratinized tissue suggesting the CNS sparganosis. We report an uncommon case of CNS sparganosis migrated from the brain to the spinal cord with literature review.
Central nervous system; Migration; Sparganosis; Spinal cord; Ventricle
Sparganosis is a rare parasitic disease caused by migrating plerocercoid tapeworm larva of the genus Spirometra. Infection in humans is mainly caused by the ingestion of raw or inadequately cooked flesh of infected frogs, snakes, and chickens. Here, we report a rare case of a 45-year-old man who was admitted to our hospital with left lower chest pain. The chest radiograph and computed tomography (CT) scan revealed localized pleural effusion in the left lower lobe; further, peripheral blood eosinophilia and eosinophilic pleural effusion were present. Percutaneous catheter drainage was performed, which revealed long worm-shaped material that was identified as a sparganum by DNA sequencing. The patient showed clinical improvement after drainage of the sparganum. This study demonstrates the importance of considering parasitic diseases in the differential diagnosis of eosinophilic pleural effusion.
Sparganosis; eosinophilic pleural effusion; DNA sequencing
Intramuscular sparganosis is not common, and its rarity makes it difficult to be distinguished from soft tissue tumors. A case of rare intramuscular sparganosis is reported. A 44-year-old man presented with a painful mass in the left thigh for 8 months, which was initially diagnosed a as soft tissue tumor. Ultrasonography and MRI revealed a multilobulated mass in the sartorius muscle. After the needle biopsy under the guidance of ultrasonography, sparganum was discovered under microscopic examination of the excised tissue. Surgical excision was performed, and a live larva of sparganum was removed. Sparganosis should be considered in the differential diagnosis of soft tissue tumors, especially among Koreans who have frequently ingested mountain water and consumed raw snakes or frogs.
A 29-year-old Korean woman visited the Department of Surgery in MizMedi Hospital with a palpable itching mass on the right breast that had existed for the past 7 months. She had no history to eat either frogs or snakes, but had the history of drinking impure water. Sonography revealed a serpiginous hypoechoic tubular structure associated with partial fat necrosis in breast parenchymal layer and subcutaneous fat layer. It also revealed oval cystic lesions. At operation, an ivory white opaque ribbon-like worm that measured 16.5 cm in length and 0.5 cm in width was extracted. Anti-sparganum specific serum IgG level in the patient's serum (absorbance = 0.71), measured by ELISA, was found to be significantly higher than those of normal controls (cut off point = 0.21). Sonography and ELISA appear to be helpful to diagnose sparganosis. Breast sparganosis is rarely found throughout the world.
sparganosis; breast; ultrasonography
Sparganosis is caused by the invasion of Spirometra sparganum into various tissues/organs. Subcutaneous sparganosis can be diagnosed by biopsy, while visceral/cerebral sparganosis is not easy to be diagnosed. The diagnosis depends largely on the detection of specific anti-sparganum antibodies. The specificity of the ELISA could be increased by using S. mansoni sparganum excretory–secretory (ES) antigens, but it also had the cross-reactions with sera of patients with cysticercosis or paragonimiasis. The aim of this study was to identify early specific diagnostic antigens in S. mansoni sparganum ES proteins.
The sparganum ES proteins were analyzed by two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) and Western blot probed with early sera from infected mice at 14 days post-infection. The immunoreactive protein spots were characterized by MALDI-TOF/ TOF-MS.
A total of approximately 149 proteins spots were detected with isoelectric point (pI) varying from 3 to 7.5 and molecular weight from 20 to 115 kDa and seven protein spots with molecular weight of 23-31 kDa were recognized by the infection sera. Three of seven spots were successfully identified and characterized as the same S. mansoni protein (cysteine protease), and the proteins of other 4 spots were not included in the databases.
The cysteine protease from S. mansoni ES proteins recognized by early infection sera might be the early diagnostic antigens for sparganosis.
Spirometra mansoni; Plerocercoid; (sparganum); Excretory-secretory; Diagnosis
A case of breast sparganosis was confirmed by surgical excision of a worm (fragmented into 5 pieces) in a 59-year-old Korean woman suffering from a palpable mass in the left breast. Mammography and ultrasonography characteristically revealed the presence of several well-defined, isodense and hypoechoic tubular masses, in the upper quadrant of the left breast, each mass consisting of a continuous cord- or worm-like structure. During surgery, a long segment of an actively moving sparganum of Spirometra sp. and 4 small fragments of the same worm, giving a total length of 20.3 cm, were extracted from the upper outer quadrant of the left breast and the axillary region. The infection source remains unclear, because the patient denied ingesting any snake or frog meat or drinking untreated water.
sparganum; sparganosis; case report; woman; breast; mammography; ultrasonography
Gangweon-do is known to be highly endemic area of sparganosis more than other provinces in Korea. A seroepidmiologic examination for the detection of anti-Spirometra erinacei plerocercoid IgG in serum was carried out in normal inhabitants in Hongcheon-gun, Gangweon-do. Sere were tested by enzyme-linked immunosrobent assay (ELISA) for the anti-sparganum antibodies. Positive rate for anti-sparganum antibody in 719 adults was 3.3%. Data of the questionnaire for 24 ELISA positive inhabitants revealed that 20 had a history of eating raw meat of snakes, 24 had a history of eating frogs, and 24 had a history of drinking stream water. Two positive cases had a past history of sparganosis. Two positive cases showed current symptoms of sparganosis. The data revealed that ELISA would be useful to find infected cases among normal inhabitants at sparganosis-endemic areas.
Sparganosis mansoni is a parasitic disease caused by the larva of Spirometra mansoni. It occurs worldwide, but only a few patients show pulmonary involvement. Here, we present a case of pulmonary sparganosis mansoni in a non-endemic region. A 32-year-old Chinese woman presented with intermittent bloody phlegm, peripheral blood eosinophilia, and migratory patch shadows in both lungs. She had been misdiagnosed with eosinophilic pneumonia. She had a history of eating raw frogs, and the sparganum mansoni antibody was positive in both her blood and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Several sparganum mansoni were found in a frog sample that the patient provided. Consequently, she was diagnosed with pulmonary sparganosis mansoni. After two oral courses of praziquantel were administered, her symptoms and radiological lesions improved significantly. To our knowledge, this is the first case of pulmonary sparganosis mansoni occuring in Shanghai. Oral praziquantel is effective for the treatment of sparganosis mansoni, although its course of therapy may need to be repeated.
Lung; sparganosis mansoni; diagnosis; treatment
Sparganosis is an infection with a parasitic tapeworm larva that occurs by eating infected foods or drinking contaminated water. The larvae can migrate to a tissue or muscle in the chest, abdominal wall, extremities, eyes, brain, urinary tract, pleura, pericardium, spinal canal, or scrotum. Herein, we report a 5-month old infant with scrotal sparganosis who was initially suspected to have a scrotal inflammatory mass with a history of applying raw frog meat into the umbilicus. Preoperative ultrasound examinations and computed tomography (CT) scanning misdiagnosed the mass as a scrotal teratoma. The scrotal mass was surgically removed, and the histopathology proved it to be scrotal sparganosis. This case displays the youngest patient ever reported with scrotal sparganosis, and the first description of CT characteristics of scrotal sparganosis. A detailed medical history is necessary for patients with scrotal masses suspected of sparganosis. In addition, ultrasound and CT examinations are helpful to rule out other causes of a scrotal mass.
Sparganum; sparganosis; scrotum; computed tomography; ultrasound
The first case of human sparganosis in Canada is reported in a 23-year-old woman who emigrated from Greece in 1969. Examination of a ribbon-like worm removed from a painful swelling in the neighbourhood of her right biceps muscle revealed a single larva, about 110 mm. long and 2.5 mm. wide, subsequently identified as the plerocercoid larva or sparganum of a member of the genus Spirometra. The source of this infection, acquired in Greece, may have been undercooked pork.
OBJECTIVES—To investigate the accuracy of placement of epidural injections using the lumbar and caudal approaches. To identify which factors, if any, predicted successful placement.
METHODS—200 consecutive patients referred to a pain clinic for an epidural injection of steroid were randomly allocated to one of two groups. Group L had a lumbar approach to the epidural space and group C a caudal approach to the epidural space. Both groups then had epidurography performed using Omnipaque and an image intensifier to determine the position of the needle.
RESULTS—Body mass index (BMI), grade of operator, and route of injection were predictors of a successful placement. 93% of lumbar and 64% of caudal epidural injections were correctly placed (p< 0.001). 97% of lumbar and 85% of caudal epidural injections clinically thought to be correctly placed were confirmed radiographically. For epidural injections where the clinical impression was "maybe", 91% of lumbar injections, but only 45% of caudal injections were correctly placed. Obesity was associated with a reduced chance of successful placement (odds ratio (OR) 0.34 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.17 to 0.72) BMI >30 v BMI <30). A more senior grade of operator was associated with a reduced chance of successful placement (OR 0.16 (95% CI 0.03 to 0.89) consultant v other). However, small numbers may have accounted for the latter result.
CONCLUSIONS—The weight of the patient and intended approach need to be considered when deciding the method used to enter the epidural space. In the non-obese patient, lumbar epidural injections can be accurately placed without x ray screening, but caudal epidural injections, to be placed accurately, require x ray screening no matter what the weight of the patient.
A 52-year-old woman presented with lower back pain, progressive symmetrical paraparesis with sensory impairment, and sphincter disturbance. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the whole spine revealed multiple intradural extramedullary serpiginous-mass lesions in the subarachnoid space continuously from the prepontine to the anterior part of the medulla oblongata levels, C7, T2-T8, and T12 vertebral levels distally until the end of the theca sac and filling-in the right S1 neural foramen. Sparganosis was diagnosed by demonstration of the sparganum in histopathological sections of surgically resected tissues and also by the presence of serum IgG antibodies by ELISA. DNA was extracted from unstained tissue sections, and a partial fragment of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) gene was amplified using a primer set specific for Spirometra spp. cox1. After sequencing of the PCR-amplicon and alignment of the nucleotide sequence data, the causative agent was identified as the larva of Spirometra erinaceieuropaei.
Spirometra erinaceieuropaei; sparganosis; cauda equina syndrome; molecular identification
The mature domain of a cysteine protease of Spirometra erinacei plerocercoid larva (i.e., sparganum) was expressed in Escherichia coli, and its value as an antigen for the serodiagnosis of sparganosis was investigated. The recombinant protein (rSepCp-1) has the molecular weight of 23.4 kDa, and strongly reacted with the sparganum positive human or mice sera but not with negative sera by immunoblotting. ELISA with rSepCp-1 protein or sparganum crude antigen (SeC) was evaluated for the serodiagnosis of sparganosis using patient's sera. The sensitivity and specificity of ELISA using rSepCp-1 protein were 95.0% (19/20) and 99.1% (111/112), respectively. In contrast, the sensitivity and specificity of ELISA with SeC were 100% (20/20) and 96.4% (108/112), respectively. Moreover, in experimentally infected mice, the sensitivity and specificity of both ELISA assays were 100% for the detection of anti-sparganum IgG. It is suggested that the rSepCp-1 protein-based ELISA could provide a highly sensitive and specific assay for the diagnosis of sparganosis.
Spirometra erinacei; sparganum; cysteine protease; ELISA; serodiagnosis
Sparganosis is caused by a larval tapeworm of the genus Spirometra, which commonly invades subcutaneous tissue, but less frequently invades muscle, intestines, spinal cord, and the peritoneopleural cavity. The authors managed a female patient who presented with a recurrent pericardiopleural effusion and peripheral eosinophilia. The anti-sparganum-specific IgG serum level was significantly higher than normal control levels. In this patient, sparganosis was caused by the ingestion of raw frogs in an effort to control her thyroid disease. The recurrent pericardiopleural effusion and peripheral eosinophilia were controlled by 3 consecutive doses of praziquantel (75 mg/kg/day). The patient is doing well 4 years after presentation. Sparganosis should be considered a rare, but possible cause of recurrent pericardial effusion and peripheral eosinophilia. Immunoserologic testing using enzyme linked immunosorbent assays can be helpful in diagnosing human sparganosis, especially in cases without a subcutaneous lump or mass. Praziquantel is an alternative treatment for sparganosis in surgically-unresectable cases.
Sparganosis; Pericardial effusion; Praziquantel
Sparganosis is a parasitic infestation of human by plerocercoid larvae. Sparganum is usually reported to be found in the subcutaneous tissues as well as other organs, including scrotum. However, testicular sparganosis is extremely rare, because of strong capsule of tunica albuginea. An urban-living 54-yr-old Korean man presented with left scrotal pain for 6 yr. Both testes look normal physically. Ultrasonography revealed poorly defined, heterogeneous mass with increased echogenicity in the left testis. This case was misdiagnosed as testicular tumor and underwent orchiectomy, but was diagnosed as testicular sparganosis by histopathology. Sparganosis should be included for differential diagnosis of testis tumor in countries where sparganosis is prevalent.
The life-span of the sparganum in humans is not exactly known, but it may survive longer than 5 years in some patients. We experienced a case infected with a sparganum that is presumed to have lived for 20 years in a patient's leg. The patient was a 60-year-old woman, and she was admitted to a hospital due to ankle pain that was aggravated on dorsiflexion. She had noticed a mass on her knee some 20 years ago, but she received no medical management for it. The mass moved into the ankle joint 3 months before the current admission, and then the aforementioned symptoms appeared. A living sparganum was recovered by surgery, and the calcified tract near the knee was proved to be the pathway along which the larva had passed.
sparganum; sparganosis; leg
We herein describe the case of a focal spontaneous spinal epidural abscess who was initially diagnosed to have a free fragment of a lumbar disc. A 71-year-old woman presented with history of low back and right leg pain. Magnetic resonance imaging suggested a peripherally enhancing free fragment extending down from S1 nerve root axilla. Preoperative laboratory investigation showed elevation of c-reactive protein (CRP), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) levels. She was taken for surgery and a fluctuating mass at the axilla of S1 nerve was found. When the mass was probed with a dissector, a dark yellow, thick pus drained out. Pus cultures were negative. Patients who present with extreme low back plus leg pain and increased leucocyte count, ESR and CRP levels should raise the suspicion of an infection of a vertebral body or spinal epidural space.
Abscess; Disc; Periradicular; Spinal
Sparganosis of the breast is an uncommon disease, but should be considered in the differential diagnosis of unusual and suspicious breast masses. A history of ingesting contaminated water and direct ingestion of snakes and frogs may help in differential diagnosis of the mass. Complete surgical removal is the treatment of choice and provides a definite diagnosis. We report a case of multiple axillary lymph node sparganosis. It was first considered as an axillary metastasis of breast cancer because a newly axillary mass appeared in follow-up radiologic study after neoadjuvant chemotherapy. We performed curative breast cancer surgery and sparganosis was confirmed by extracting the worm during axillary dissection.
Sparganosis; Axilla; Breast carcinoma
We report a case of subcutaneous sparganosis in a 68-year-old female Japanese immigrant in Germany. The patient complained of a painless erythema caudal of the umbilicus with a palpable subcutaneous cherry-sized lump. Polymerase chain reaction on formalin-fixed parasite tissue identified Spirometra erinaceieuropaei as the causative agent; the proliferative form of sparganosis, which is caused by the branching and disseminating Sparganum proliferum, could, thus, be excluded. From the excised sparganum, an immunofluorescence test was established and revealed an antibody response directed against the parasite's tegument. Histological key features of the plerocercoid that facilitate diagnosis with different stains are presented.
A procedure using an interspinous process spacer (IPS) was recently developed for the treatment of posture-dependent lumbar spinal-canal stenosis (LSS) patients. We developed a novel IPS which can be inserted with simpler procedures and removed percutaneously. The objectives of this study were: (1) to evaluate the feasibility and safety of this novel technique, and (2) to assess the effectiveness of this spacer in terms of preventing an increase of epidural pressure in lumbar extension using a porcine model.
Eight young pigs were used. Under general anesthesia and image guidance, the spacers were inserted. Three months after operation, MR images were taken and all spacers were removed. Blood samples were obtained before and 1, 3, 7 days after surgery. After killing the animals, the lumbar spines were observed macroscopically. Another six animals were used. Under general anesthesia and image guidance, a flexible pressure transducer was inserted into the epidural space and epidural pressure was measured in neutral and at maximum extension with and without spacer insertion.
Percutaneous insertion and removal of the spacer was successful for all animals through small skin incisions. MR images showed minimal damage to the muscle. No significant up-regulation of Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and CRP was detected. Macroscopic observation of the lumbar spine 3 months after the operation revealed that the area of the interspinous process contacting with the inserted spacer showed some bone erosion/remodeling. Insertion of the spacer did not affect the epidural pressure in neutral but significantly prevented an increase of epidural pressure in lumber extension.
This study demonstrated that the percutaneous insertion and removal of a novel IPS was feasible and safe using a simple technique. Furthermore, this procedure can be recognized as minimally invasive surgery from the viewpoint of skin incision, short insertion track, inflammatory mediators, and muscle damage. Improvements should be attempted in future studies using softer or more elastic materials for the spacer to lessen bone erosion/remodeling at contacting area of the inserted spacer.
Lumbar spinal-canal stenosis; Minimally invasive surgery; Interspinous process spacer; Big animal study; Epidural pressure
We report here on an uncommon case of metastatic choriocarcinoma to the lung, brain and lumbar spine. A 33-year-old woman was admitted to the pulmonary department with headache, dyspnea and hemoptysis. There was a history of cesarean section due to intrauterine fetal death at 37-weeks gestation and this occurred 2 weeks before admission to the pulmonary department. The radiological studies revealed a nodular lung mass with hypervascularity in the left upper lobe and also a brain parenchymal lesion in the parietal lobe with marginal bleeding and surrounding edema. She underwent embolization for the lung lesion, which was suspected to be an arteriovenous malformation according to the pulmonary arteriogram. Approximately 10 days after discharge from the pulmonary department, she was readmitted due to back pain and progressive paraparesis. The neuroradiological studies revealed a hypervascular tumor occupying the entire L3 vertebral body and pedicle, and the tumor extended to the epidural area. She underwent embolization of the hypervascular lesion of the lumbar spine, and after which injection of polymethylmethacrylate in the L3 vertebral body, total laminectomy of L3, subtotal removal of the epidural mass and screw fixation of L2 and L4 were performed. The result of biopsy was a choriocarcinoma.
Metastatic choriocarconoma; Spinal metastasis
Given the risk of paralysis associated with cervical transforaminal injection, is it time to reconsider transforaminal injections of the lumbar spine? Arguments for discontinuing lumbar injections have been discussed in the anesthesia literature, raising concern about the risks of epidural steroid injections (ESIs).
In a 47-year-old man, paraplegia of the lower extremities developed, specifically conus medullaris syndrome, after he underwent an ESI for recurrent pain. Correct needle placement was verified with epidurography. Immediately after the injection, the patient felt his legs “going dead”; paraplegia of the lower extremities was noted.
An initial magnetic resonance imaging study performed after the patient was transferred to the emergency department was unremarkable. However, a later neurosurgical evaluation showed conus medullaris syndrome, and a second magnetic resonance imaging study showed the conus infarct. We conducted a search of the PubMed database of articles from 2002 to 2011 containing the following keywords: complications, lumbar epidural steroid injection(s), cauda equina syndrome, conus medullaris infarction, spinal cord infarction, spinal cord injury, paralysis, paresis, plegia, paresthesia, and anesthesia.
Summarizing this case and 5 similar cases, we weigh the potential benefits and risks of ESI. Although one can safely assume that this severe, devastating complication is rare, we speculate that its true incidence remains unknown, possibly because of medicolegal implications. We believe that the rarity of this complication should not preclude the continued use of transforaminal ESI; rather, it should be emphasized for discussion with patients during the consent process.
Conus medullaris syndrome; Epidural; Injections; Polyradiculopathy; Steroids
We report here a case of inguinal sparganosis, initially regarded as myeloid sarcoma, diagnosed in a patient undergone allogeneic hematopoietic transplantation (HSCT). A 56-year-old male patient having myelodysplastic syndrome was treated with allogeneic HSCT after myeloablative conditioning regimen. At day 5 post-HSCT, the patient complained of a painless palpable mass on the left scrotum and inguinal area. Pelvic magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography revealed suspected myeloid sarcoma. Gun-biopsy was performed, and the result revealed eosinophilic infiltrations without malignancy. Subsequent serologic IgG antibody test was positive for sparganum. Excisional biopsy as a therapeutic diagnosis was done, and the diagnosis of sparganosis was confirmed eventually. This is the first report of sparganosis after allogeneic HSCT mimicking myeloid sarcoma, giving a lesson that the physicians have to consider the possibility of sparganosis in this clinical situation and perform adequate diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.
Sparganum; sparganosis; myeloid sarcoma; hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; myelodysplastic syndrome
Cases of Sparganum mansoni, caused by the plerocercoid larva of the tapeworm S. mansoni, occur throughout the world, particularly in Asian, Middle Eastern, and European countries. However, cases of infection with this parasite are rarely seen in Japan. Here, we present a case of a 61-year-old woman with a solitary subcutaneous nodule in left inner aspect of the thigh, from which a long, slender, whitish worm was surgically removed. The parasite was histopathologically identified as S. mansoni. Serological testing confirmed cure of the infection after surgical removal of the parasite. The authors advocate immunoserological examination in case of S. mansoni.
Sparganosis; Surgery; ELISA; Ultrasonography