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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


Esophageal Scab Mimicking a Parasite: A Case Report

Unknown etiology, Challenging differential diagnosis, Unusual or unexpected effect of treatment, Diagnostic / therapeutic accidents, Educational Purpose (only if useful for a systematic review or synthesis)

Wei-ping Liu, Di Huan, Jin-guang Wang, Qiao-lan Lv, Umar Ibrahim, Xiao-xia Jin, Zhi-yong Tao

China (mainland) Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Bengbu Medical College, Bengbu, Anhui, China (mainland)

Am J Case Rep 2020; 21:e925199

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.925199

Available online: 2020-05-28

Published: 2020-06-27


BACKGROUND: Parasitic helminths in the esophagus are rare. Here, we report a case of esophageal scab mimicking a parasite.
CASE REPORT: A 65-year-old man was admitted to our hospital because after choking on food. Gastroscopy showed 2 foreign bodies adherent to the esophagus wall 28 and 34 cm from the incisor, which appeared to be a fluke. Two fluke-like foreign bodies (1.5 and 1.8 cm in length) were removed from the esophageal ulcer with forceps. After fixation with alcohol, the suspected fluke-like foreign bodies were noted to be brown and woody. Under a light microscope, the structure of the foreign body was not apparent, and no typical flatworm tegument structure was demonstrated on pathologic sections, but it had a blood clot-like structure. Administration of albendazole did not expel any helminths. A stool examination showed no eggs of the putative flukes. The genomic DNA of the suspected flukes was extracted and a 700 bp fragment was amplified by universal barcoding primers. The sequencing showed that the homology with human cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene was 98.8%.
CONCLUSIONS: The scab formed by the esophageal ulcer was identified based on clinical manifestations, anti-helminth and stool examinations, parasite morphology, and molecular biology. Our experience with this case suggests that the universal barcoding technique can be used for identification of foreign bodies suspected to be parasites.

Keywords: Clinical Laboratory Techniques, DNA Barcoding, Taxonomic, Esophageal Diseases, Parasites