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Case #326 - June, 2012

A 65-year-old female, who lives in northern California, had a colonoscopy performed as part of a routine screening. A foreign body was observed and subsequently removed. The specimen was sectioned, stained with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E), and examined by the attending pathologist. Digital images were captured and sent to the DPDx Team for diagnostic assistance. Figure A was captured at 2x; Figure B at 20x; and Figures C and D at 40x magnification. What is your diagnosis? Based on what criteria?


Figure A


Figure B


Figure C


Figure D

Case Answer

This was a case of trichuriasis (commonly called whipworm) caused by the nematode Trichuris trichiura. Morphologic diagnostic features shown included:

  • a thick, annulated cuticle.
  • a nucleated hypodermis (HY, Figure C) and somatic muscle cells (SM, Figure C).
  • a bacillary band (BB, Figure D).
  • barrel-shaped eggs with polar plugs (best seen in Figure C).

Figure C

Figure D

More on: Trichuriasis

This case and images were kindly provided by Miraca Life Sciences, Phoenix, Arizona.

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.

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