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Human Pulmonary Dirofilariasis : Analysis of 24 Cases From São Paulo, Brazil

José Ribas Milanez de Campos; Carmen Silvia Valente Barbas; Luiz Tarcisio Brito Filomeno; Angelo Fernandez; Hélio Minamoto; João Valente Barbas Filho; Fabio Biscegli Jatene
Author and Funding Information

From the Thoracic Surgery and Pulmonary Division, Hospital das Clínicas of University of São Paulo, Brazil


1997 by the American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 1997;112(3):729-733. doi:10.1378/chest.112.3.729
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Abstract

Study objective: To present the clinical, radiologic, and pathologic aspects of 24 cases of human pulmonary dirofilariasis (HPD) from São Paulo, Brazil.

Design: Retrospective study of 24 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of HPD over a 14-year period (from February 1982 to June 1996).

Setting: Thoracic Surgery and Pulmonary Division, University of São Paulo and Hospital Albert Einstein, São Paulo, Brazil.

Results: Seventeen patients were male (70.1%) and seven were female (29.9%). Their mean age was 51.4 years. Fifty-four percent of the patients were asymptomatic and 75% had a well-circumscribed noncalcified peripheral subpleural pulmonary nodule on the chest radiograph and thoracic CT scan, located preferentially in the lower lobes. The diagnosis was made after thoracotomy and wedge resections in 16 patients, by videothoracoscopy in six, after a pleural biopsy in one, and after necropsy in one. The pathologic examination of all the nodules revealed a central zone of necrosis, surrounded by a narrow granulomatous zone and peripherally by fibrous tissue. Pulmonary vessels exhibit varying degrees of endarteritis. In all cases, a dead worm, usually necrotic and fragmented, was found.

Conclusions: A subpleural, noncalcified pulmonary nodule in the appropriate clinical and epidemiologic setting should alert the clinician, radiologist, or pathologist to the possibility of Dirofilaria. HPD should be considered in the differential diagnosis of pulmonary nodules.


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