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Toxocariasis-Associated Acute Perimyocarditis with Cardiogenic Shock: A Case Report

Se-Jin Park, Chae-Won Jang, Yong-Kyun Kim, Young-Hoon Seo, Ki-Hong Kim, Taek-Geun Kwon, Jang-Ho Bae

(Department of Internal Medicine, Konyang University Hospital, Daejeon, South Korea)

Am J Case Rep 2021; 22:e930573

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.930573


BACKGROUND: Toxocariasis is an infection due to ingestion of the helminth parasite larvae found in dogs (Toxocara canis) or cats (Toxocara cati). Symptoms vary from being asymptomatic to shock, depending on the organ invaded by the parasite. However, cardiac involvement with shock in toxocariasis is very rare.
CASE REPORT: A 21-year-old woman without any history of underlying conditions visited the Emergency Department because of epigastric pain, vomiting, headache, and dizziness. Her blood pressure was 80/60 mmHg. Computed tomography (CT) of the brain showed no abnormal lesions. The abdominal-pelvic CT with contrast showed right pleural effusion, pericardial effusion, and focal ascites in the pelvic cavity. Laboratory tests revealed an elevation of eosinophils (40%) and cardiac enzymes (creatinine kinase-MB 27.6 ng/mL, high-sensitive cardiac troponin T 1.21 ng/mL). The transthoracic echocardiogram showed left ventricular systolic dysfunction (ejection fraction 44%) and moderate pericardial effusion. She was presumptively diagnosed with hypereosinophilic perimyocarditis and admitted to the Intensive Care Unit for shock. The pericardial effusion increased during treatment; therefore, pericardiocentesis was performed. Analysis of the pericardial effusion showed eosinophilia (eosinophils 90%) and the serologic test for parasites was positive for Toxocara and Sparganum. A combination therapy of albendazole, praziquantel, and corticosteroid resolved the pericardial effusion and the peripheral blood eosinophil count normalized. She was discharged without any other complications. At Outpatient Clinic follow-ups and observations over the next 2 years there were no abnormal findings, including pericardial effusion or eosinophilia.
CONCLUSIONS: Toxocariasis rarely causes perimyocarditis with cardiogenic shock. Patients who present with pericardial effusion and eosinophilia need to be evaluated for parasitic infection.

Keywords: myocarditis, Pericarditis, Shock, Cardiogenic, Toxocariasis

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