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Bizarre Liver-Eating Parasites Identified in a Chinese Man

A Chinese man identified as Mr. Xe has reportedly half of his liver to these weird liver-eating parasites after he ate raw fish. The scans of his liver showed hundreds of the lightbulb shaped things in his liver, which were identified as these flatworms’ eggs which have eaten half of his liver.

Hangzhou First People’s Hospital has released a detailed report on this case.

This patient came to the hospital with complaints of fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, belly pain, and loss of appetite. The 55-year-old patient was suffering from these problems for the last four months with no final diagnosis.

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After four months of numerous tests and medicines, he was identified with a rare medical condition called clonorchiasis. This is an infection caused by liver-eating parasites that are commonly called Chinese liver fluke.

At first, doctors were confused about what could be possibly wrong with this returning patient. However, they were surprised after they got the scans of Mr. Xie showing that the flatworms has eaten half part of his liver. The left lobe was completely empty and showed a weird-looking sac with filling. It was nearly 19cm in length and 18cm in width. The depth of this sac was 12 cm.

The presence of this sac allowed different tumors to on its walls and when the doctors emptied this sac ‘shrunk in size.  Finally, after three weeks of sac drainage, the doctors were able to cut and remove the infected part of Mr. Xie’s liver.

They found hundreds of tiny eggs laid by the parasitic flatworms in this removed part.

Upon inquiring what could possibly lead Mr. Xie to this bizarre and painful condition, he shared eating a unique raw fish delicacy back in his local area. This dish doesn’t even properly wash the fish and only rinse it with hot water for a couple of seconds.

Eating this raw fish is linked with these flatworms in his body. The medical professionals believe that when he ate that fish, he also ate the parasitic cysts which later on hatched and developed into full-fledge worms in this man’s intestines. They later on ‘swam’ towards the liver and started to eat it, causing lack of appetite and nausea-like symptoms.

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There are no primary symptoms associated with clonorchiasis or the more famous name, Chinese liver fluke. That’s why the patient is often unaware of what’s happening inside his body unless the damage has already taken place, according to the hospital report.

This parasite grows like anything and these worms could last for up to 30 years. In extreme cases, it damages the liver and bile duct causing deadly cancer called cholangiocarcinoma which has no treatment.

The World Health Organization warns against the Chinese river fluke larvae (liver-eating parasites) which are scientifically called miracidia. They are common in fish scales and can enter into a human body if the fish is not properly washed and cooked before eating,

 

Areeba Hussain

The author is a fulltime medical and healthcare writer. She graduated in Medical Microbiology and Immunology with distinction. Her areas of prime interest are medicine, medical technology, disease awareness, and research analysis. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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