Published online Feb 14, 2010. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v16.i6.698
Revised: December 9, 2009
Accepted: December 16, 2009
Published online: February 14, 2010
Capillaria hepatica (C. hepatica) is a parasitic nematode causing hepatic capillariasis in numerous mammals. Ecologic studies showed that the first hosts of C. hepatica were rodents, among which rats had relatively high infection rates, which explains why C. hepatica spreads globally. Anatomical studies showed that the liver was the principal site of colonization by these parasites and physical damage tended to occur. Although C. hepatica might lead to serious liver disorders, relevant clinical reports were rare, because of the non-specific nature of clinical symptoms, leading to misdiagnosis. This review mainly focuses on the biological characteristics and epidemiology of C. hepatica in China and histopathologic changes in the liver, with expectation of gaining a better understanding of the disease and seeking more effective treatment.