Doctors had to remove tapeworm six meters long in the operating room

Doctors had to remove tapeworm six meters long in the operating room


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Chinese patient lived for years with tapeworms in the intestine
Tapeworms can grow enormously in the human body and cause considerable discomfort. Chinese medical experts report in the "New England Journal of Medicine" magazine about the case of a 38-year-old man who was removed from a tapeworm (Taenia saginata) more than six meters long. T. saginata infection is caused by eating raw or undercooked beef.

The Chinese patient affected has been examined and treated by various doctors over the past two years due to symptoms such as abdominal pain and chronic anemia. However, this did not bring success. Eventually, he was hospitalized in Shiyan within three days for a marked increase in abdominal pain, vomiting, loss of appetite, general weakness, and drastic weight loss. There the doctors removed the impressively large beef tapeworm.

6.2 meter long beef tapeworm excreted
Initially, the investigation was largely unremarkable, but microscopic analysis of the stool discovered the fertilized egg of the beef tapeworm, Jian Li and Eping Guo from the Hubei University of Medicine in Shiyan report. This was followed by treatment with the anthelmintic (worming agent) praziquantel and the diuretic (draining medicine) mannitol. After “around two and a half hours, the patient excreted a tapeworm that was 6.2 meters long excluding the Scolex (tapeworm head),” the researchers write in the “New England Journal of Medicine”.

Infection from raw or undercooked beef
According to the doctors, people become infected “by taking T. saginata fins when eating raw or undercooked beef.” The tapeworm gets stuck in the intestine and can grow to a length of several meters. Humans make up his only end host. The 38-year-old Chinese patient was symptom-free after three months of follow-up and showed a recovery in appetite and weight, according to the doctors. (fp)

Author and source information


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