Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences

Document Type: Case Report(s)


1 Department of Surgery, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research, Puducherry, India

2 Department of Pediatrics, CSI Kalyani Multispeciality Hospital, Mylapore, Chennai, India


Ascariasis is a common worm infestation in developing and under-developed countries. It is caused by the ingestion of food contaminated with Ascaris eggs from faeces and is more common in places with poor sanitation. Almost 25% of the world population is infested by Ascaris lumbricoides. Although ascariasis is a chronic disease, it can present as acute abdomen rarely. The wandering nature of Ascaris in and out of the bowel causes various abdominal complications such as intestinal obstruction, perforation, biliary ascariasis, pancreatic ascariasis, liver abscess, appendicitis, and Meckel’s diverticulitis. Intestinal obstruction is the most common complication seen in children and is usually due to mechanical bowel obstruction, volvulus or intussusception. Mechanical obstruction by a bolus of worms is the most common cause of bowel obstruction. Perforation of bowel is rarely reported and it usually occurs in the diseased segment of bowel or following trauma. Perforation of an ileal volvulus secondary to ascariasis has been reported rarely. We present a 4-year-old boy who presented to the emergency room with features of bowel perforation and sepsis, after unsuccessful management for intestinal obstruction in another hospital. On laparotomy, the small bowel was teaming with Ascaris worms. Ileum showed a volvulus with closed loop obstruction and perforation. Peritoneal lavage with resection and ileostomy was done, which was closed at a later date. Anti-helminthic agents were started postoperatively and the boy recovered uneventfully.