Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bladder Flukes?

I received a very interesting letter this morning from a student of mine.  I will post part of it here:  "I attended your course in Houston a couple of months ago and have a question. I was in Belize performing ultrasound using a Sonosite portable machine in March. Several of the women had some type of fasciculating / flagellating thing in their bladders. They seemed to be adherent to the bladder wall and be from 1 to 3 cm in length. I also saw a larger bladder tumor and a couple of kidney masses.
Is it possible to see Schistosomal "bladder  flukes" in the bladder on ultrasound? I haven't found a reference for it."
I did a search on this topic, and came up with pretty interesting hits.  Most flukes attack the liver, gall bladder, and gastro-intestinal systems in humans. I found very little on urinary bladder parasites.  Certainly it is possible to have bladder parasites, and schistosomal infections are rampant in third world countries.  I have never seen an image of a urinary bladder parasite on an ultrasound.  If anyone has further information along these lines, including sonograms of parasites, I would be interested in talking with you.  Thanks in advance!
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