Toxocariasis might be an important cause of atopic myelitis in Korea

J Korean Med Sci. 2009 Dec;24(6):1024-30. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2009.24.6.1024. Epub 2009 Nov 7.


Atopic myelitis is defined as myelitis with atopic diasthesis but the cause is still unknown. Toxocariasis is one of the common causes of hyperIgEaemia that may lead to neurologic manifestations. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the sero-prevalence of Toxocara specific IgG Ab among the atopic myelitis patients. We evaluated the medical records of 37 patients with atopic myelitis whose conditions were diagnosed between March 2001 and August 2007. Among them, the 33 sera were analyzed for specific serum IgG Ab to Toxocara excretory-secretory antigens (TES). All of 37 patients had hyperIgEaemia. Specific IgE to D. pteronyssinus and D. farinae was detected in 22 (64.7%) and 34 (100%) patients, respectively, of the 34 patients. Thirty-one of 33 patients (93.9%) were found to be positive by TES IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Based on the image findings of eosinophilic infiltrations in the lung and liver, 8 patients had positive results. These results inferred that the prevalence of toxocariasis was high in patients with atopic myelitis. Our results suggest that toxocariasis might be an important cause of atopic myelitis and Toxocara ELISA is essential for evaluating the causes of atopic myelitis.

Keywords: Atopy; Myelitis; Toxocariasis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Albendazole / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Anthelmintics / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Helminth / blood
  • Antibodies, Helminth / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Middle Aged
  • Myelitis / drug therapy
  • Myelitis / etiology*
  • Myelitis / immunology*
  • Myelitis / pathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Toxocara / immunology*
  • Toxocariasis / complications*
  • Toxocariasis / drug therapy
  • Toxocariasis / immunology*
  • Toxocariasis / pathology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Anthelmintics
  • Antibodies, Helminth
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Albendazole