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Insights Imaging. 2017 Feb;8(1):101-125. doi: 10.1007/s13244-016-0525-2. Epub 2016 Nov 23.

Unexpected hosts: imaging parasitic diseases.

Author information

1
Radiology Department, La Princesa University Hospital, Diego de León 62, 28006, Madrid, Spain. pablorodriguezcarner@ucm.es.
2
Radiology Department, Clínico San Carlos University Hospital, Prof. Martín Lagos s/n, 28040, Madrid, Spain.
3
Radiology Department, Gregorio Marañón University Hospital, Dr. Esquerdo 46, 28007, Madrid, Spain.
4
Radiology Department, La Princesa University Hospital, Diego de León 62, 28006, Madrid, Spain.

Abstract

Radiologists seldom encounter parasitic diseases in their daily practice in most of Europe, although the incidence of these diseases is increasing due to migration and tourism from/to endemic areas. Moreover, some parasitic diseases are still endemic in certain European regions, and immunocompromised individuals also pose a higher risk of developing these conditions. This article reviews and summarises the imaging findings of some of the most important and frequent human parasitic diseases, including information about the parasite's life cycle, pathophysiology, clinical findings, diagnosis, and treatment. We include malaria, amoebiasis, toxoplasmosis, trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, echinococcosis, cysticercosis, clonorchiasis, schistosomiasis, fascioliasis, ascariasis, anisakiasis, dracunculiasis, and strongyloidiasis. The aim of this review is to help radiologists when dealing with these diseases or in cases where they are suspected. Teaching Points • Incidence of parasitic diseases is increasing due to migratory movements and travelling. • Some parasitic diseases are still endemic in certain regions in Europe. • Parasitic diseases can have complex life cycles often involving different hosts. • Prompt diagnosis and treatment is essential for patient management in parasitic diseases. • Radiologists should be able to recognise and suspect the most relevant parasitic diseases.

KEYWORDS:

Magnetic resonance imaging; Multidetector computed tomography; Parasitic diseases; Radiology; Ultrasound

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