Diagnosis of Schistosoma Mansoni Infection by Rectal Scraping: A Comparison with Rectal Biopsy and Fecal Examination

Jerrold A. TurnerDepartment of Infectious Diseases, Division of Parasitology and Tropic Diseases, School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles

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A long-handled, spoon-shaped curette was used to collect scrapings from the rectal mucosa through a sigmoidoscope for microscopic examination for ova of Schistosoma mansoni. The results of scrapings, biopsies and fecal examinations in 28 untreated infections and 30 treated infections are compared. The technique of rectal scraping was as efficient as rectal biopsy in the diagnosis of untreated cases, and both techniques were superior to fecal examination. Rectal scraping was superior to biopsy in the evaluation of the activity of the infection in both treated and untreated cases. Rectal biopsy was the best technique for detecting inactive infections. Rectal scraping was accomplished easily and rapidly and was free from hazard to the patient. Laxative rectal suppositories containing biscodyl were found to be superior to enemas in preparing the patients for proctoscopic examinations.