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Case #315 - January, 2012

A 31-year-old man, originally from Ecuador, vomited what appeared to be a long worm-like object. The object (Figure A) measured 27 centimeters in length. The object was sent to a pathology laboratory for sectioning and staining with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E). Figures B-D show what was observed microscopically by the attending pathologist. What is your diagnosis? Based on what criteria?

	Case315_A

Figure A

	Case315_B

Figure B

	Case315_C

Figure C

	Case315_D

Figure D

Case Answer

This was a case of ascariasis caused by Ascaris lumbricoides. Diagnostic morphologic features included:

  • An adult worm (Figure A) within the size range for A. lumbricoides.
  • tall musculature (MU, Figure C).
  • intestine with brush border (IN, Figure C).
  • coiled ovaries (OV, Figure C).
  • paired uterine tubes (UT, Figure B) full of eggs with mammillated shells (Figure D).

Figure B

Figure C

More on: Ascariasis

This case and images were kindly provided by Emory Johns Creek Hospital, Johns Creek, GA.

Images presented in the monthly case studies are from specimens submitted for diagnosis or archiving. On rare occasions, clinical histories given may be partly fictitious.

DPDx is an education resource designed for health professionals and laboratory scientists. For an overview including prevention and control visit www.cdc.gov/parasites/.

  • Page last reviewed: August 24, 2016
  • Page last updated: August 24, 2016
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