Toxocariasis masquerading as liver and lung metastatic nodules in patents with gastrointestinal cancer: Clinicopathologic study of five cases

Sanghui Park, Yun Soo Kim, Yu Jin Kim, Sun Young Kyung, Jeong Woong Park, Sung Hwan Jeong, Sang Pyo Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: There are sporadic reports in the literature in which radiologic liver and lung lesions found incidentally during follow-up metastatic surveillance were shown to be caused by toxocariasis. Aims: The objective of the work discussed in this report was to identify common clinical and histopathological features of toxocariasis resembling metastatic nodules in five patients with gastrointestinal cancer. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed clinical features of five gastrointestinal cancer patients with liver or lung nodules mimicking metastasis. Serologic tests for parasitic infestations and pathologic examinations were performed. Results: All five patients were males and three patients had gastric cancer and two had colorectal cancer. All the cases of toxocariasis were confirmed serologically. On follow-up imaging, the lesions improved or resolved, suggestive of the phenomenon of visceral larva migrans. In two patients, liver biopsy was performed and showed eosinophilic abscess. Conclusion: Serologic tests and liver or lung biopsy should be performed aggressively to exclude toxocariasis when patients with underlying gastrointestinal cancer present with hepatic or pulmonary nodules associated with eosinophilia, particularly if the patients have a clinical history of raw animal liver ingestion. Curative surgical intervention should not be excluded just because of multiple nodules in the liver or the lungs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-160
Number of pages6
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Volume57
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2012

Keywords

  • Gastrointestinal cancer
  • Metastasis
  • Toxocariasis
  • Visceral larva migrans

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