Liver & intrahepatic bile ducts
Infectious nonviral
Fasciola hepatica

Topic Completed: 1 May 2012

Minor changes: 30 September 2020

Copyright: 2002-2021,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Fasciola hepatica[TI] liver fluke[TI] full text[sb]

Komal Arora, M.D.
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Cite this page: Arora K. Fasciola hepatica. website. Accessed January 16th, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Common liver fluke or sheep liver fluke; parasitic flatworm of class Trematoda, phylum Platyhelminthes; infects livers of various mammals, including humans (Wikipedia: Fasciola hepatica [Accessed 2 November 2017])
  • Occurs in Southeast Asia and other locations where population consumes watercress or other freshwater plants containing metacercariae (Gastroenterol Clin North Am 1996;25:627)
  • Usually produces lesions in liver, rarely gallbladder and stomach
  • Parasite penetrates hepatic capsule, migrates into bile ducts causing necrosis, scarring and eosinophilic granulomas
  • Diagnosis: operculated eggs in stool, duodenal or biliary drainage; immunodiagnostic testing
Diagrams / tables

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Life cycle

Case reports
Clinical images

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Adult worms

Gross description
  • Solitary or multiple surface yellow nodules, 5 - 20 mm, resembling metastases
  • Cut sections show tracks ending at subcapsular cavities filled with necrotic material
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Dilated intrahepatic bile ducts contain adult flukes, necrotic debris, eosinophils with Charcot-Leyden crystals, histiocytes, eosinophilic granulomas
  • Also dystrophic calcification
  • Rarely eggs
Microscopic (histologic) images

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65 year old woman

Various images


Dr. Schall's parasitology reviews

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