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Parasite. 2019;26:22. doi: 10.1051/parasite/2019023. Epub 2019 Apr 9.

A human case of Dioctophyma renale (giant kidney worm) accompanied by renal cancer and a retrospective study of dioctophymiasis.

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Department of Parasitology, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, Heilongjiang 150081, PR China.


Due to the rarity of human cases and the nonspecific clinical symptoms of dioctophymiasis, Dioctophyma renale infection is not well recognized and is easily neglected or misdiagnosed. Recently, we diagnosed a human case of dioctophymiasis accompanied by renal cancer. To enhance the understanding of human dioctophymiasis, this case is presented here, and a retrospective study of this disease was conducted based on relevant papers screened from PubMed and three Chinese databases. In the end, 32 papers describing 37 human cases of dioctophymiasis were assessed. These cases were distributed in ten countries of Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania, with the highest number in China (n = 22). The majority of the cases occurred in adults (91.9%, 34/37) and involved the kidneys (83.8%, 31/37). Ectopic parasitism mainly occurred in subcutaneous tissue (83.3%, 5/6). A proportion of 45.9% (17/37) of individuals had a history of eating raw or undercooked fish or frogs. The main clinical manifestations of human dioctophymiasis were loin pain (59.5%) and hematuria (59.5%). All the cases were diagnosed based on the morphological characteristics of eggs or adults in urine or tissue sections. Currently, there is no strictly defined therapeutic approach. This is the first retrospective analysis of human cases of dioctophymiasis. These review data will deepen our understanding of dioctophymiasis and help avoid misdiagnosis in clinical practice.

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