The Resolution

Differential Diagnosis

  • Cutaneous larva migrans
  • Gnathostomiasis
  • Loiasis
  • Strongyloidiasis


This patient was diagnosed with gnathostomiasis, a helminth infection contracted after ingesting raw fish, frog, chicken, or pork infected with Gnathostoma spinigerum and other minor Gnathostoma spp.



  • Gnathostomiasis is endemic to parts of Asia and South/Central America
  • Symptoms are thought to relate to the movement of the parasite through the body
    • Constitutional symptoms may occur when it moves through the wall of the stomach (2 days to 2 weeks after ingestion), and skin manifestations when it moves under the skin (3 to 4 weeks after ingestion)
  • Cutaneous manifestations are not unlike loiasis, in which the patient complains of migratory cutaneous and subcutaneous swellings which may be amorphous or resemble cutaneous larva migrans (serpiginous)
  • Patients may complain of pruritus, arthralgias and myalgias, fever, nausea, and abdominal pain. However, larvae can migrate through any organ and, therefore, nearly any physical symptom is possible (eg, right-upper-quadrant pain and transaminitis may occur as the larvae migrate through the liver)


Pearls for Urgent Care Management and Considerations for Transfer

  • Albendazoleand ivermectin have been shown to be curative for cutaneous symptoms
  • Recurrence requiring retreatment is not uncommon


Acknowledgment: Images and presentation courtesy of VisualDx.

A 37-Year-Old Man with Multiple Symptoms Following a Trip to Japan
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