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01.12.2014 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2014 Open Access

Journal of Medical Case Reports 1/2014

Cutaneous paragonimiasis due to triploid Paragonimus westermani presenting as a non-migratory subcutaneous nodule: a case report

Journal of Medical Case Reports > Ausgabe 1/2014
Makoto Kodama, Mayumi Akaki, Hiroyuki Tanaka, Haruhiko Maruyama, Eiji Nagayasu, Tetsuhiro Yokouchi, Yasuji Arimura, Hiroaki Kataoka
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1752-1947-8-346) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Makoto Kodama, Mayumi Akaki contributed equally to this work.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

MK and MA were involved in acquisition of data and drafting the manuscript, and equally contributed to this study. HT designed and organized this study. HM guided the diagnosis by parasitological, histopathological and serological examinations. EN helped in parasitological conception. TY performed dermatological aspects of this study. YA performed respirological aspects of this study. HK revised the manuscript critically for important intellectual content and supported financially. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Paragonimiasis is a food-borne infection caused by Paragonimus parasites. The lungs and pleura are the primary sites for the infection; however, ectopic infection can occur in other organs such as skin, liver and brain. It is difficult to make a diagnosis of ectopic paragonimiasis due to an ignorance of, and unfamiliarity with the disease. We report the case of a patient with subcutaneous paragonimiasis diagnosed by histopathological analysis and serological testing.

Case presentation

A 39-year-old Chinese immigrant woman presented with a subcutaneous nodule in her left lower back. The nodule was initially suspected of lipoma and she was followed up on without any treatment. However, it gradually indurated and the nodule was resected surgically. A magnetic resonance imaging scan revealed a polycystic lesion with inhomogeneous low or high intensity on T1- or T2-weighted images, respectively. The rim of the lesion was enhanced after contrast enhancement, but the inside did not show high-signal intensity. A histological analysis of the surgically resected specimen revealed variable-sized tubulo-cystic structures. The cyst wall showed a granulomatous change with scant eosinophilic infiltration. A number of parasite ova were observed in the necrotic tissue inside the cysts, and a parasite body with a presumed oral sucker and reproductive organ was also detected, suggesting a trematode infection. A subsequent serological examination showed a positive reaction of her serum to the Paragonimus westermani antigen. No abnormal findings were found on her chest computed tomography scan. The diagnosis of subcutaneous paragonimiasis caused by Paragonimus westermani was made.


We report a case presenting only as a non-migratory subcutaneous nodule without any pleuropulmonary lesion, which was initially suspected of lipoma but denied by magnetic resonance imaging scan results. The case was subsequently diagnosed as subcutaneous paragonimiasis from the results of histopathological analysis and serological testing.

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