Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 121-124

Biliary ascariasis in the Indian subcontinent: A study of 42 cases

Department of General Surgery, Calcutta National Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Madhumita Mukhopadhyay
Block II, 7A, Ekta Heights, 56, Raja S C Mallick Road,Kolkata - 700 032, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1319-3767.48970

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Background/Aim: History of ascariasis is known to stretch back many centuries. One quarter of the world's population is known to be infected by ascariasis. It is endemic in various parts of the Indian subcontinent and the gangetic plain of West Bengal is one of them. We aimed to study the various types of clinical presentations, complications and different diagnostic tools and to assess various options for the management of biliary ascariasis. Materials and Methods: Forty-two cases of hepatobiliary ascariasis were studied over a period of 3 years. All the patients were adults aged between 20 and 50 years and all but two were admitted with acute upper abdominal pain. Results: In this study, biliary ascariasis was found to be more common in females, 73.8% (31 patients). The most common presentation was upper abdominal pain in 95.2% of the patients (40 patients). Complications observed were obstructive jaundice in 28.56% (12 patients), cholangitis in 16.7% (seven patients), acute pancreatitis in 2.4% (one patient) and hepatic abscess in 2.4% (one patient). History of worm emesis was present in 38.1% (16 patients). History of previous cholecystectomy was present in 16.7% (seven patients) and endoscopic sphincterotomy in 4.8% (two patients). Ultrasound was the diagnostic tool of choice with 100% results. Conservative management was successful in 83.3% (35 patients). During follow-up, worm reinvasion of the biliary system occurred in 7.1% (three patients). Conclusion: In endemic countries, ascariasis should be suspected in patients with biliary disease, especially if a cholecystectomy or sphincterotomy has been performed in the past. Most of the patients respond to conservative management.

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