A localised (focal) form of liver disease in all tropical/subtropical countries results from invasive Entamoeba histolytica infection (amoebic liver ‘abscess’); serology and imaging techniques assist in diagnosis. Hydatidosis also causes localised liver disease; one or more cysts usually involve the right lobe of the liver. Serological tests and imaging techniques are of value in diagnosis. Whilst surgery formerly constituted the sole method of management, prolonged courses of albendazole and/or praziquantel have now been shown to be e?ective; however, surgical intervention is still required in some cases.
Hepato-biliary disease is also a problem in many tropical/subtropical countries. In southeast Asia, Clonorchis sinensis and Opisthorchis viverini infections cause chronic biliary-tract infection, complicated by adenocarcinoma of the biliary system. Praziquantel is e?ective chemotherapy before advanced disease ensues. Fasciola hepatica (the liver ?uke) is a further hepato-biliary helminthic infection; treatment is with bithionol or triclabendazole, praziquantel being relatively ine?ective.... Medical Dictionary
S. haematobium causes CYSTITIS and haematuria – passage of blood in the urine; bladder cancer and ureteric obstruction, giving rise to hydronephrosis and kidney failure, are long-term sequelae in a severe case. S. mansoni can cause colonic symptoms and in a severe case, POLYPOSIS of the COLON; diarrhoea, which may be bloody, can be a presenting feature. In a heavy infection, eggs surrounded by granulomas are deposited in the liver, giving rise to extensive damage (pipe-stem ?brosis) associated with PORTAL HYPERTENSION, oesophageal varices, etc. However, unlike in CIRRHOSIS, hepatocellular function is preserved until late in the disease. S. japonicum (which is con?ned to the Far East, especially Indonesia) behaves similarly to S. mansoni infection; liver involvement is often more severe.
Diagnosis can be made by microscopic examination of URINE or FAECES. The characteristic eggs are usually detectable. Alternatively, rectal or liver BIOPSY are of value. Serological tests, including an ELISA (see ENZYME-LINKED IMMUNOSORBENT ASSAY (ELISA)), have now largely replaced invasive procedures used in making a parasitological diagnosis.
Treatment CHEMOTHERAPY has been revolutionised by the introduction of praziquantel (administered orally); this compound has no serious side-e?ects, although its cost may limit its use in developing countries. Oxamniquine is cheaper and e?ective in S. mansoni infection, although evidence of resistance has been recorded in several countries. Metriphonate is also relatively cheap and is of value in S. haematobium infection. Prevention is by complete avoidance of exposure to contaminated water; all travellers to infected areas should know about this disease. It is increasing in frequency as new expanses of fresh water appear as a result of irrigation schemes and dam projects. Molluscicides can be employed for snail-control.... Medical Dictionary