Pediatric Toxocariasis Treatment & Management

Updated: Mar 10, 2015
  • Author: Germaine L Defendi, MD, MS, FAAP; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Treatment

Medical Care

Most patients with toxocariasis recover without therapy.

  • In most cases, patients with VLM are treated with anthelmintic agents.

  • Treatment with anthelmintic agents is indicated for severe complications, such as for patients with cerebral, cardiac, and/or pulmonary involvement.

  • Anthelmintic treatment can induce an increased systemic inflammatory reaction, as such corticosteroids are sometimes used in conjunction with or without anthelminthic therapy.

  • An experienced ophthalmologist must be involved in the immediate care of patients with suspected OLM. Treatment of OLM focuses on ocular steroid therapy (intraocular steroids) as opposed to anthelminthic treatment, as steroids have shown benefit for patients with concern of permanent vision loss. Ocular surgery may be recommended to prevent complications. The use of anthelminthic agents is not as clear.

  • Treatment of covert toxocariasis should be individualized. The decision to treat depends on the age of the patient, severity of the symptoms, and certainty of the diagnosis.

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Surgical Care

Ocular surgical care may be necessary for OLM.

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Consultations

Infectious diseases specialists and ophthalmologists often are helpful. Other consultants may be needed, depending on the body tissues and organ systems affected with systemic infection.

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Diet

Clarification and correction of the patient’s underlying cause of geophagic pica may prevent reinfection.

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Activity

Activity limitation may be required in cases with cardiac involvement and/or ocular complications (such as retinal detachment).

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