The early ultrasound catches the worm

Stomach-turning scan shows true culprit

While ED doctors were scanning their patient’s inferior vena cava, something unexpected in the man’s stomach caught their attention: a tangle of parasitic worms undulating on ultrasound.


The 20-year-old presented to ED with one day of abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea but no significant medical history.

On palpation, the abdomen was soft and non-tender; however, his haemoglobin level (195g/L, normal: 120-150) and WCC (20.8 x 109/L, normal: 4-11 x 109/L) were both elevated.