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Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2005 Jul;3(7):667-71.

Anisakis simplex-induced small bowel obstruction after fish ingestion: preliminary evidence for response to parenteral corticosteroids.

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Digestive System Research Unit, Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.



Gastrointestinal anisakiasis, a fish-borne zoonoses, may be acquired by humans after the ingestion of raw marine fish infested with larvae of the nematode Anisakis simplex. Because of the invasive nature of the parasite, inflammatory obstruction or perforation of the gut wall may result. Although rare, Anisakis-induced intestinal obstruction is becoming a growing public health problem in Mediterranean areas, such as Spain, with a high fish-intake-based diet. Unawareness of this entity and nonspecific clinical symptoms, along with the lack of alternative therapeutic options other than conservative measures, may explain why half of these patients require abdominal laparotomy for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.


We describe a series of 8 patients with acute intestinal anisakiasis treated in our center from July 2001 to January 2004.


The first 3 patients underwent segmental ileal resection for imminent peritonitis. The remaining 5 patients were treated with intravenous 6-methylprednisolone (1 mg/kg/24 h) for 5 days with fast clinical and radiologic resolution in all 5 patients with no adverse reactions.


Although preliminary, our data may suggest that parenteral corticosteroids could be a reasonable, inexpensive, and safe alternative in these patients to prevent intestinal resection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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