Microfilaria causing nephrotic syndrome: Highlighting the importance of diethylcarbamazine provocation test for diagnosis

J Family Med Prim Care. 2022 Jul;11(7):4002-4005. doi: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_2410_21. Epub 2022 Jul 22.


Filarial parasite infestation not only affects the structure and function of lymphatic vessels but is also associated with extralymphatic pathology and disease. Incidence of renal involvement in microfilaria carriers has led to increased cognizance of extralymphatic presentation. Literature set forth clinical syndromes having extralymphatic manifestation of filaria. The diagnosis of filariasis is done by visualisation of microfilaria in peripheral blood smear, lymphatic tissue. Other modalities of diagnosis are Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), Immunochromatographic test. Diethyl carbamazine (DEC) provocation test usually is done to detect microfilaria in night blood smear due to the nocturnal periodicity of microfilaria. The drug DEC flushes the microfilaria into the peripheral circulation leading to high probability of detection. We present a case of a 59-year-old male who was diagnosed as nephrotic syndrome and after a DEC challenge we detected microfilaria in the peripheral smear confirming microfilaria-induced Nephrotic Syndrome after all other secondary conditions were excluded.

Keywords: Filaria; microfilaria; nephrotic syndrome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports