Hypertonic saline enema in gastrointestinal ascariasis

Indian J Pediatr. 1999 Sep-Oct;66(5):675-80. doi: 10.1007/BF02726252.


Many dangerous surgical complications like intestinal obstruction, acute appendicitis with perforation, ileal perforation in a typhoid patient, Meckel's diverticulitis, disruption of post operative intestinal anastomosis, volvulus, and intussusception are known to occur due to ascariasis, with considerable morbidity and mortality. In this retrospective study of 250 cases of gastrointestinal ascariasis admitted in paediatric surgical wards of Govt. Medical College, Jabalpur (MP), the authors analysed the results of conservative (especially the use of hypertonic saline enema-given just like an ordinary soap water enema but substituting freshly made hypertonic saline in place of soap water) and surgical treatment. The success rate of conservative treatment was 95.6%. Hypertonic saline passes through the incompetent ileo-caecal valve (present in 80% of children) and irritates the worm bolus commonly situated in the terminal ileum, causing it to disintegrate. It also helps to increase the intestinal motility and passage of worms into the colon. The use of hypertonic saline enema is safe and effective in the conservative treatment of gastrointestinal ascariasis. Authors feel that it is the most grossly under utilized part of conservative treatment and deserves to be known and used on wider scale.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Ascariasis / complications
  • Ascariasis / diagnosis
  • Ascariasis / therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Enema*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / complications
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / diagnosis
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / therapy*
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Saline Solution, Hypertonic / therapeutic use*


  • Saline Solution, Hypertonic