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A Journal on Ophthalmology




Minerva Oftalmologica 2007 September;49(3):141-3

language: English

Orbital localization of dirofilaria repens infection, a rare mimic of orbital neoplasm

Piscitelli D. 1, Sanguedolce F. 2, Fiore M. G. 1, Giancipoli G. 2, Rossi R. 1, Resta L. 1

1 Department of Pathology University of Bari, Bari, Italy
2 Department of Ophthalmology and Othorinolaringology University of Bari, Bari, Italy


Dirofilaria repens infection is a worldwide helminthic zoonosis, with subcutaneous nodules being the most common sign; so far, only seven cases of Dirofilaria repens infection in the orbit have been reported in Europe, three of them by Italian authors. A 52-year-old man presented with ocular pain, mild discomfort and progressive swelling of his left eyelid of 1 month’s duration 15 years after surgical removal of foreign bodies at the same site. The excised nodule, which had raised the suspicion of a neoplastic lesion at US and CT scan, revealed at histological examination a chronic inflammatory wall surrounding an abscessed cavity containing sections of a worm that could be classified as D. repens. The post-intervention was uneventful and the patient made a full recovery with resolution of his symptoms. In conclusion, since Italy is a high-incidence area as for the infection rate of D. repens infection, the occurrence of an orbital localization of such zoonosis should be considered in the differential diagnosis, and carefully clinically and surgically managed.

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