Pancreatitis Due to Ascaris lumbricoides: Second Occurrence After 2 Years

South Med J. 2001;94(1) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Pancreatitis is a common disease in the United States, with the most likely etiologies being biliary tract disease and alcohol use. Infections with parasites such as Ascaris lumbricoides comprise a small percentage of pancreatitis cases in the United States, but they are a common etiology in developing countries. In the United States, the incidence of pancreatic and biliary ascariasis has been increasing because of the migration of people from endemic countries, as well as increased travel by Americans to such countries. Patients treated for this roundworm can have reinvasion for the same reasons. We report the case of a patient with two episodes of pancreatitis due to A lumbricoides 2 years apart.

Ascaris lumbricoides is a common intestinal parasite in tropical and temperate regions but occasionally can also be seen in the United States. Although usually asymptomatic, infection can lead to biliary, pancreatic, or intestinal obstruction. With a growing influx of immigrants from endemic areas into the United States, physicians should be aware of the diagnosis and treatment of ascariasis.

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