Hao-Hung Tsai1, 2, Ling-Yuh Shyu3, Chia-Ling Chi1, Hui-Chen Tsai1, Hsueh-Lin Li4, Jun-Cheng Weng1, 2
1School of Medical Imaging and Radiological Sciences, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan; 2Department of Medical Imaging, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan; 3Department of Parasitology, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan; 4School of Medicine, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
Angiostrongylus cantonensis (A. cantonensis) is a parasitic nematode which causes Angiostrongyliasis, the most common cause of eosinophilic meningitis in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Basin. The roundworm commonly resides in the pulmonary arteries and hearts of rats, giving it the nickname the rat lungworm. Snails are the primary intermediate hosts, where larvae develop until they are infective. Humans are incidental hosts and may become infected after ingestion of the worms in raw snails from contaminated vegetables. The typical clinical presentation is acute meningitis with an eosinophilic pleocytosis frequently accompanied by encephalopathy and other symptoms of central nervous system (CNS). Patients usually present an insidious or sudden onset of excruciating headache, neck stiffness, nausea, vomiting and paraesthesia.