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Human fascioliasis: clinical features and diagnostic difficulties in Egyptian children.

Human fascioliasis (HF) has been reported in children worldwide and occasionally from Egypt. In the past 7 years we diagnosed 16 children aged 3.5-11 years (mean age: 6.5 years), 13 of them were boys, as HF. They were referred to Cairo University, Paediatric Hospital (CUPH), with pyrexia of undetermined origin (PUO) and abdominal pain. Diagnosis was based on high peripheral blood eosinophilia (14-82 per cent) in all patients along with Fasciola hepatica egg detection on direct stool smear in three or stool concentration in four, antibody detection by indirect haemagglutination test (IHAT) in seven egg-negative patients and ultrasonographic detection of hepatic and/or biliary lesions of HF in two egg-negative patients. Percutaneous liver biopsy confirmed the diagnosis of an eosinophilic abscess (parasitic granuloma) in 12 of 13 patients. Therefore, HF does occur in Egyptian children and its diagnosis needs a high index of suspicion supported by stool microscopy, serology, imaging procedures, and probably liver biopsy.

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