Paragonimiasis in Children in Southwest China: A retrospective case reports review from 2005 to 2016

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Abstract

Background:

Paragonimiasis infection has no specific symptoms or typical radiologic findings, leading to the possibility of misdiagnosis. Thus, the objective of this study was to analyze clinical and radiological features, and treatment outcome of paragonimiasis in children in Southwest China to improve the awareness of this disease.

Methods:

We retrospectively reviewed the records of children diagnosed with paragonimiasis in West China Second University Hospital between 2005 and 2016. The confirmed diagnosis of paragonimiasis was based on epidemiology history and seropositivity for paragonimiasis and/or detection of paragonimus eggs. Clinical, laboratory, and imaging findings of patients were examined in order to summarize risk factors, clinical characteristics, and treatment outcomes of these patients.

Results:

A total of 123 patients were included; of them 112 (91.1%) lived in villages and 72 (58.5%) had a history of consuming freshwater crabs. Patients with paragonimiasis most frequently showed respiratory symptoms, including cough (26.0%, 32/123) and tachypnea (16.3%, 20/123), and gastrointestinal symptoms, including abdominal pain (26.8%, 33/123), abdominal distention (22.8%, 28/123), and vomiting (13.0%, 16/123). Laboratory examination showed elevated white blood cell (WBC) counts in the peripheral blood in 89 (72.4%) patients and eosinophilia in 102 (82.9%) patients. Tuberculosis (TB) coinfection was found in 4 (3.3%) patients. Main imaging findings included: effusions (90.4%), lymphadenopathy (40.4%), pulmonary ground-glass opacities (36.2%), cystic lesions (18.1%), and pleural thickening (17.0%). Twenty-nine patients (23.6%) received more than 1 course of praziquantel (PZQ). Additionally, 4 (19.0%) of 21 patients who were discharged from the hospital without complete treatment required rehospitalization for residual serous effusions. Moreover, patients from pericardial effusion group showed longer hospital stays and less elevated WBC counts than those from nonpericardial effusion group.

Conclusion:

Paragonimiasis should be considered in patients from endemic areas, especially in those with gastrointestinal and/or respiratory symptoms, elevated WBC count, eosinophilia, and serous effusions. Additionally, longer hospital stay may be necessary in cases of paragonimiasis associated with pericardial effusions.

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