Possible Strongyloides stercoralis infection diagnosed by videocapsule endoscopy in an immunocompetent patient with devastating diarrhea
Strongyloides stercoralis is an endemic parasitic infection of tropical areas, but it is rare in Europe.
Most infected immunocompetent patients are asymptomatic, but may present with abdominal
pain and diarrhea even several years after acquiring the infection. However, in immunocompromized patients, hyperinfection syndrome has a high mortality rate. Risk factors for the hyperinfection syndrome are corticosteroids and infection with human T lymphotropic virus
type 1. Diagnosis of strongyloidiasis is usually made by identifying the larvae in the stool or in
duodenal biopsies. There are only four published cases of strongyloidiasis in Greek patients,
three of them were immunocompromized. In our patient videocapsule endoscopy identified
rhabditiform larvae suggestive of strongyloidiasis. This case report illustrates the difficulty in
establishing a diagnosis of the disease in immunocompetent patients.
Keywords Strongyloides stercoralis, small bowel videocapsule endoscopy, strongyloidiasis,
helminthic infections, diarrhea, human T lymphotropic virus type 1
Ann Gastroenterol 2012; 25 (3): 268-270