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Gastric ascariasis mimicking Rapunzel syndrome in an epileptic patient: Learning points galore

1 Department of Medicine, Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital, Government of NCT Delhi, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital, Government of NCT Delhi, New Delhi, India

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Shalini Singh,
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/INJMS.INJMS_5_18

Rapunzel syndrome refers to a very rare condition in which swallowed hair forms a gastric trichobezoar that has a long tail extending into the small bowel. It presents with early satiety, malnutrition, obstructive symptoms, and sometimes, gastric-outlet obstruction. Despite the varied manifestations of Ascaris infestation in man, gastric ascariasis is rare which is demonstrated in the stomach by radiology and by endoscopic examination. We present a rare case of trichobezoar in a 14 years epileptic female with recurrent seizure episodes and no prior history of psychiatric illness or worm infestation where the final diagnosis of gastric ascariasis was made on upper gastrointestinal-endoscopy revealing the presence of worms at the level of the fundus and body of the stomach. Endoscopically some worms were removed, and the rest passed down dead in stools after antihelminthic treatment. Recovery was uneventful and free of complications. Frequent seizures could also be attributed to malabsorption of anti-epileptic drugs because of gastric ascariasis. A prompt diagnosis (tissue diagnosis and direct visualization) always scores above characteristic radiologic findings and appropriate therapy can reduce comorbidities.

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