Background

In paragonimiasis, the lungs and pleural cavity are the major target organs, and the central nervous system can also be affected. The liver is an organ in which ectopic paragonimiasis rarely occurs. Because the symptoms and examinations in hepatic paragonimiasis (HP) are not typical, the disease is often misdiagnosed in the clinic.

Methods

From February 2008 to March 2015, our department accepted 32 patients who presented with a liver mass upon ultrasound and computed tomography imaging and in whom the source of the mass could not be identified upon numerous further diagnostic tests. We ultimately obtained surgical biopsies of their lesions for pathological examination. We analysed the clinical data of these cases, along with their disease characteristics, the diagnostic strategies employed and their treatment experiences. Additionally, we performed patient follow-up for a period of 6–12 months.

Results

All patients underwent half/partial hepatectomy and were diagnosed with HP upon pathological examination. They recovered well after surgery and their original symptoms were markedly improved without recurrence. The liver functions of the patients reached normal levels before discharge and no additional liver lesions were found upon diagnostic imaging.

Conclusion

The diagnosis of HP based on clinical manifestations, laboratory tests or image examination is difficult and only pathologic analysis of biopsies could confirm HP. Surgical treatment not only removes lesions, but also allows for pathologic biopsy. This study encompasses the largest number of HP patients to date, but the surgical outcomes require further research and long-term follow-up.

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