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Tapeworm Infestation

Theresa A. Townley, MD, MPH Reviewed 06/2019
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • Tapeworms (cestodes) are parasitic flatworms that cause parasitic human and animal infections.

  • Taeniasis, diphyllobothriasis, hymenolepiasis, dipylidiasis, sparganosis, echinococcosis...

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

  • Often asymptomatic; if present, symptoms vary with infecting organism and typically include a variety of GI symptoms: nausea, abdominal pain, anorexia.

  • T. saginata (beef tapeworm): may...

TREATMENT

GENERAL MEASURES

  • Supportive care

  • Asymptomatic cysticercosis may resolve spontaneously without treatment; calcified (nonviable) cysticerci not benefited by anthelmintics (1),(2)[C]

  • Albendazole p...

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOW-UP RECOMMENDATIONS

Patient Monitoring

  • Examine several stool specimens for ova and parasites at 3 months for Taenia sp. and 1 month for other intestinal tapeworms.

  • Follow neurocysticer...

REFERENCES

1
Brunetti E, White ACJr. Cestode infestations: hydatid disease and cysticercosis. Infect Dis Clin North Am.  2012;26(2):421–435. [View Abstract on OvidMedline]
2
Brunetti E, Kern P, Vuit...

CODES

ICD10

  • B71.9 Cestode infection, unspecified

  • B71.0 Hymenolepiasis

  • B70.0 Diphyllobothriasis

  • B69.0 Cysticercosis of central nervous system

  • B67.90 Echinococcosis, unspecified

  • B68.0 Taenia solium taeniasis

  • B...

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • Tapeworm infections are often asymptomatic.

  • Tapeworm infections can have a long latency.

  • For asymptomatic neurocysticercosis, treatment may not be necessary. Calcified cysts generally do...

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