Liver and intrahepatic bile ducts - nontumor
Infectious (nonviral) disorders
Visceral larva migrans

Author: Komal Arora, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 7 November 2017, last major update May 2012

Copyright: (c) 2002-2017,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Visceral larva migrans[TI] liver

Cite this page: Arora, K. Visceral larva migrans. website. Accessed July 18th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Due to Toxocara canis, Toxocara catis (dog and cat worms) or Capillaria hepatica
  • Lesions in liver, lung and other viscera with extreme chronic eosinophilia
  • Toxocara larva are 400 x 15 - 20 microns
  • All ages, male and female
  • Associated with inadequate sewage and presence of dogs and cats
  • 60% asymptomatic; also fever, abdominal pain
  • Serial sections, immunostains or serology may be required for diagnosis
Gross description
  • 74% have visible lesion, 80% multiple, often in subcapsular right lobe, 3 - 10 mm, gray white
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Multiple palisading granulomas with central necrosis surrounding by eosinophils, chronic inflammatory cells and neutrophils, granulomas often periportal
  • Charcot-Leyden crystals (44%)
  • Parasites present on H&E in only 25%
Positive stains
  • Toxocara antibody staining of macrophages, Biebrich scarlet stain (for eosinophils)