Back issues No.3 - 2000 / Case Report  

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Cutaneous Sparganosis- A case report -
Chen-Chin Chung, Bor-Jeng Tsai, Tze-Yi Lin, Hsiu-Maan Kuo
Dermatol Sinica 18: 204-210, 2000

Sparganosis is an infection caused by plerocercoid larvae of Diphyllobothriidae tapeworms. There have been 19 cases reported in Taiwan since 1922. Fifteen cases were caused by Sparganum mansoni, and four by Sparganum proliferum. We present cutaneous sparganosis in a 64-year-old woman, who noted a painful ulcerated, soft nodule on her right leg for three months after touring a beach in Thailand. Several thread-like worms, which measured from 4 mm to 5 cm, were squeezed from the ulcerated nodule during skin biopsy. Histopathologic examination of the skin showed some sinus tracts in the lower dermis surrounded by numerous eosinophils. H&E stain of the section of the larva showed an eosinophilic cuticle, loose stroma, calcareous bodies, and smooth muscle fibers. According to the clinical and histopathologic presentation, diagnosis of cutaneous sparganosis was made. Unlike most reported cases, our patient denied drinking untreated water, using flesh poultices, or eating uncooked animal flesh. Thus, the route of infection via direct skin penetration of procercoid larvae from crushed copepods should be considered.

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