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: 11/10/2012 Reviewed By: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.