Clinical Studies on Human Infestations with the Liver Fluke (Clonorchis Sinensis)

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  • American Presbyterian Mission Hospital at Andong, Korea
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  1. 1.Human infestation with liver flukes (Clonorchis sinensis) is common in North Kyungsung province of Southern Korea. The sources of infestation are the fresh water fish caught in the streams which drain the district. These fish have been demonstrated to be the intermediate host for Clonorchis in this district.
  2. 2.In the Korean patients studied the cases are characterized by symptoms of indigestion, epigastric distress not related to meals, swelling of the liver with or without ascites, leucocytosis, eosinophilia and the ova of Clonorchis in the stool and bile. None of our patients have had chills or fever. Night-blindness is a symptom also seen in some of these cases. This symptom is relieved promptly by bile drainage through the duodenal tube.
  3. 3.A portion of the human liver infested with Clonorchis has been described. A marked fatty cirrhosis was present.
  4. 4.Blood examination revealed a marked leucocytosis with a high eosinophilia in most cases. This seems to be a typical blood picture in uncomplicated cases of Clonorchiasis. However, when another infection is superimposed (as in one case in our series when pneumonia was superimposed) the blood reacts in the usual manner to the more acute process.
  5. 5.Continuous non-surgical bile drainage was done in many cases. Large quantities of bile were removed. In most instances there was prompt reduction in the size of the liver. In no case was it possible to rid the bile of ova. In some cases the patients died a few days after leaving the hospital and in others profound shock symptoms were observed during the course of the drainage. A certain amount of bile drainage under careful supervision is of value in removing toxic materials. The technic however should be carried out only in hospitals and by those with experience.
  6. 6.Treatment in the human at present is not satisfactory.