Study objective: Paragonimiasis is a typical food-borne parasitic disease that is common in Southeast Asia, the Far East, Latin American, and Africa. Recently, however, this disease has been seen in many parts of the world, largely due to increases in the numbers of immigrants and overseas travelers. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical and radiologic features of recently diagnosed pulmonary paragonimiasis.
Patients: We retrospectively analyzed the clinical and radiologic characteristics of 36 patients (21 men and 15 women; median age 48 years; range, 19 to 75) with pulmonary paragonimiasis whose conditions were diagnosed between October 1994 and September 2004.
Results: Thirty-four patients (94%) presented with respiratory symptoms, including hemoptysis (n = 20, 56%) and cough (n = 17, 47%). However, chest pain (n = 5, 14%) and fever (n = 5, 14%) were less frequently reported. Chest radiography revealed intrapulmonary parenchymal lesions (n = 26, 72%), such as nodules (n = 14, 39%), linear opacity (n = 6, 17%), and airspace consolidations (n = 4, 11%), which occurred more commonly than did pleural lesions (n = 10, 28%). Most cases were initially suspected to be lung cancer or tuberculosis. In 13 patients with intrapulmonary parenchymal lesions who underwent bronchoscopy, bronchial luminal narrowing, coupled with congested or edematous mucosal changes, was seen in 7 patients (54%). Bronchial mucosal biopsy specimens exhibited chronic inflammation with eosinophilic infiltrations in three of these seven patients (43%).
Conclusions: Our findings indicate that patients with pulmonary paragonimiasis presented with a variety of clinical and radiologic findings that were different from the classic presentations reported earlier, frequently mimicking those of lung cancer or tuberculosis.