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Dipetalonema reconditum in the human eye
  1. T HUYNH,
  2. J THEAN
  1. Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, Melbourne, Australia
  2. Centre for Eye Research Australia
  1. R MAINI
  1. Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, Melbourne, Australia
  2. Centre for Eye Research Australia
  1. Dr T Huynh, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, 32 Gisborne Street, East Melbourne, Victoria 3002, Australia

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Editor,—Human ocular invasion by non-human filarial parasites has been reported for more than 200 years.1 2However, only just over a handful have actually been removed, described and identified in detail.3-6 Furthermore, theDipetalonema species that have been described in three cases were thought to be from the body cavity of the natural hosts—the porcupine and the beaver.4 5 7 8

This report describes a case of Dipetalonema reconditum (usually associated with canine filariasis) in the human eye. It is noteworthy that this worm has morphological similarities to the canine heartworm Dirofilaria imitis, which in the past has been described in the human eye5 9 but not satisfactorily identified.10


A 62 year old white resident of suburban Victoria, Australia, presented with a red and irritated right eye of 2 weeks' duration. This was exacerbated after a rural walking trip and did not improve with topical lubrication. He also noted mild diplopia on extreme right gaze. On examination, the visual acuity was 6/6 in the right eye and 6/4 in the left. There was mild limitation of right eye abduction. Localised bulbar conjunctival …

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  • Website extra A video report is on the BJO website. It shows the undulating appearance of the right bulbar conjunctival surface in a 62 year old white male as the Dipetalonema reconditum remains mobile immediately before removal following localised peritomy