This is the parasite Trichinella spiralis in human muscle tissue. The parasite is transmitted by eating undercooked meats, especially pork. The cysts hatch in the intestines and produce large numbers of larvae that migrate into muscle tissue. The cysts may cause muscle pain and swelling in the face and around the eyes.
Review Date 12/4/2022
Updated by: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Associate Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Associate in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.