Neurol India Home 

Year : 2011  |  Volume : 59  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 922--923

Cysticercosis of filum terminale

Bharti Ahuja1, Ashru K Banerjee1, VK Kak2,  
1 Department of Pathology, Silver Oaks Hospital, Mohali, Punjab, India
2 Department of Neurosurgery, Silver Oaks Hospital, Mohali, Punjab; Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Bharti Ahuja
Department of Pathology, Silver Oaks Hospital, Mohali, Punjab

How to cite this article:
Ahuja B, Banerjee AK, Kak V K. Cysticercosis of filum terminale.Neurol India 2011;59:922-923

How to cite this URL:
Ahuja B, Banerjee AK, Kak V K. Cysticercosis of filum terminale. Neurol India [serial online] 2011 [cited 2020 Jul 7 ];59:922-923
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Neurocysticercosis (NCC) typically involves the brain parenchyma, intracranial subarachnoid space or ventricular system. Spinal NCC, even in endemic regions, is rare. [1] We report a case of cysticercosis of filum terminale masquerading as a spinal tumour.

A 39-year-old vegetarian female, presented with episodic right lower limb pain of two months' duration. Neurological examination was essentially normal. Contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (CE-MRI) of the lumbosacral spine revealed an enhancing intradural extramedullary lesion at the L4 vertebral level [Figure 1]. She underwent L3-L4 laminectomy. At operation a cystic lesion lying in the subarachnoid space at the L3 level was easily picked up and removed. There was a firm intradural lesion adherent to the nerve roots which was also excised. Intraoperative clinical diagnosis was intradural schwannoma. On gross examination, the cyst was 0.5 ml in volume and the mass measured 2.5 cm × 1.4 cm × 0.5 cm in size. Microscopic examination of the cystic lesion revealed structure consistent with body cavity of cysticercus larva. The mass attached to the nerve showed inflammatory tissue with foci of necrosis and stellate abcesses [Figure 2]. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for cysticercus antibodies was performed postoperatively, which was positive (2.1). Screening MRI of brain and rest of the spinal cord were also normal. She was put on cysticidal therapy and steroids, albendazole 400 mg/day and methylprednisolone 8 mg/day for one month.{Figure 1}{Figure 2}

Spinal cysticercosis is an uncommon entity. Spinal cord involvement is reported in 1.2-5.8% of patients with NCC. [2] Intramedullary NCC is far less common than extramedullary leptomeningeal disease. [2],[3] MRI is the investigation of choice for the diagnosis. On MRI the lesions show a hypointense rim with hyperintense core on T2-weighted, and hypointense or isointense lesion on T1-weighted imaging. [4] However, these are not specific and the same changes can also be present in neoplastic, inflammatory, demyelinating, vascular and other granulomatous diseases. In our case also, the initial MRI diagnosis was a tumor. The entire neuraxis should be screened to find additional lesions. Filum terminale cysticercosis has not been described in the literature so far. Given its rarity and absence of typical features, the diagnosis of spinal neurocysticercosis was made only by the identification of larva by histopathological examination.


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