Toxocariasis Clinical Presentation

Updated: Dec 09, 2019
  • Author: Sun Huh, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: John L Brusch, MD, FACP  more...
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Presentation

History

Inquire about pets in the home. Ask if children play in a sandbox. Ask about pica and handwashing practices and determine if hygiene practices are poor. Symptoms during the acute phase may include the following:

  • Abdominal pain

  • Decreased appetite

  • Restlessness

  • Fever

  • Coughing

  • Wheezing

  • Hives

  • History of seizures

  • Ocular involvement - Decreased visual acuity, seeing floaters or bubblelike images

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Physical

Tenderness in the right upper quadrant or hepatomegaly may be present in patients with liver involvement.

With pulmonary involvement, wheezing may be heard. Breath sounds may be decreased if a pleural effusion is present.

Patients with ocular involvement may present with the following:

  • Retinal detachment due to traction caused by retinal fibrosis

    Funduscopic examination of the right eye of a pati Funduscopic examination of the right eye of a patient with ocular toxocariasis showing rhegmatogenous retinal detachment.
  • Peripapillary inflammation

  • Peripheral retinal exudates

  • Gliotic mass in peripheral retina

  • Vitreoretinal traction band in peripheral retina

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Causes

Risk factors of toxocariasis include the following:

  • Living with or raising dogs and cats

  • Eating without handwashing

  • Infection via contact with soil from a yard, sandbox, park, or playground

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Complications

Decreased visual acuity may occur if ocular toxocariasis is not identified and treated.

Retinal detachment due to ocular involvement may cause unilateral visual loss.

Seizures may result from cerebral involvement.

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