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Toxoplasmosis complicating lung cancer: a case report

Authors Lu N, Liu C, Wang J, Ding Y, Ai Q

Received 27 October 2014

Accepted for publication 26 November 2014

Published 22 January 2015 Volume 2015:8 Pages 37—40


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Ronald Prineas

Nianhong Lu, Caihong Liu, Jiangyuan Wang, Ying Ding, Qing Ai

Department of Clinical Laboratory, The First Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: Toxoplasmosis complicating lung cancer has been described only rarely. Here, we report a case of acute Toxoplasma gondii infection in a patient with squamous lung cancer. A 64-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital with a history of cough of 6 months' duration and chest pain of 1 week’s duration. Further examination revealed multiple swollen lymph nodes, palpable on the top of the right collarbone and without tenderness. The chest X-ray, bronchoscopy, and computed tomography scan confirmed squamous carcinoma of the right lung. The Wright-stained bronchoalveolar-lavage fluid cytology diagnosis was positive for T. gondii and tachyzoites were detected. All of them were of free type (ectocytic), without intracellular parasites. Serological examination revealed that the anti-T. gondii immunoglobulin (Ig) M and IgG antibodies were positive. Unfortunately the patient did not continue treatment and was lost to follow-up. Toxoplasmosis is a life-threatening opportunistic infection in patients with lung cancer. Prompt recognition of T. gondii infection among cancer patients with subsequent targeted treatment of toxoplasmosis could help alleviate symptoms and improve survival.

Keywords: lung cancer, Toxoplasma gondii, bronchoalveolar-lavage fluid, tachyzoite

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