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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 264-265

Intramedullary cysticercosis

Army Hospital (R&R), Delhi Cantt - 110010, India

Correspondence Address:
Neurosurgeon, Army Hospital (R&R) Delhi Cantt-110010, India

 » Abstract 

A 42-year-old soldier, a known case of cerebral parenchymal neurocysticercosis presented with insidious onset gradually progressive weakness of both lower limbs for six months. Investigations revealed an intramedullary cyst in the cervicodorsal region. Following surgical excision of an intramedullary cysticercus cyst, the patient showed recovery in his neurological deficits.

How to cite this article:
Singh P, Sahai K. Intramedullary cysticercosis. Neurol India 2004;52:264-5

How to cite this URL:
Singh P, Sahai K. Intramedullary cysticercosis. Neurol India [serial online] 2004 [cited 2022 Jan 28];52:264-5. Available from: https://www.neurologyindia.com/text.asp?2004/52/2/264/11063

 » Introduction Top

Intramedullary cysticercosis is a rare manifestation of neurocysticercosis.[1],[2],[3],[4] We report a case and briefly review the literature on this subject.

 » Case Report Top

A 42-year-old man had a generalized seizure 2 years back. He was investigated with computerized tomography (CT) scan of brain and was diagnosed to have cerebral neurocysticercosis. He was treated with albendazole (15mg / kg body weight) for four weeks in addition to anticonvulsant drugs. He now presented with history of insidious onset, gradually progressive weakness of the lower limbs of six months duration. The weakness started with the right leg. For one month he had urinary hesitancy. At the time of presentation he could walk only with support. Neurological evaluation revealed spastic Grade 4 paraparesis and the sensory level was at T3 dermatome. MRI of the cervicodorsal spine revealed an intramedullary cystic lesion at C7-T1, which was hypointense in T1- weighted images and hyperintense in T2-weighted images [Figure:1] and did not enhance after gadolinium contrast administration. A few cysts in the cervical musculature were also noted. MRI of brain revealed some persisting parenchymal cysts. The patient was subjected to C7 to D2 laminectomy. The spinal cord was enlarged at this level and through right dorsal root entry zone myelotomy, a well-circumscribed grayish white cyst was seen under the operating microscope and was completely removed. The postoperative period was uneventful. Histological examination showed cyst wall thrown into folds enclosing body cavity of the parasite. At places scolex and hooklets could be identified thus confirming the diagnosis of cysticercus. No calcareal corpuscles or pericystic inflammation was seen. He was given another course of albendazole (15 mg/kg body weight) for four weeks. He gradually improved and at 3-months follow-up, except for brisk deep tendon reflexes in the lower limbs, had no other deficit. Postoperative MRI confirmed the complete resolution of cystic lesion.

 » Discussion Top

Cysticercosis is a common infestation of the central nervous system. Spinal involvement is rare and varies from 0.7 to 5.85%.[5],[6],[7] Spinal forms have been identified in the vertebral, extradural, intradural and intramedullary regions. Intramedullary cysticercosis is very uncommon and only 45 cases have been reported so far.[1],[8] Migration of the cysticercus through the ventriculo-ependymal pathway and hematogeneous dissemination have been identified to be the possible pathogenetic mechanisms. The higher incidence in the thoracic spinal cord is possibly related to the high blood flow in the thoracic segment of the spinal cord.[1],[5],[9] In the absence of previous history of neurocysticercosis or subcutaneous nodules it may be difficult to clinically suspect intramedullary cysticercosis. High eosinophil count and calcification of soft tissues in the plain radiogram may be suggestive, but such findings are rare.[1],[10] Cerebrospinal fluid and serum enzyme-linked immunoelectric transfer blot assay for cysticercus antibodies may be helpful.[11] MRI clearly delineates the lesion. Concurrent presence of cerebral and muscular cysticercosis in the presence of spinal cysticercosis has been reported.[12],[13] Results of surgery have not been encouraging till a decade back[8],[9] and this has been attributed to parenchymal gliosis as result of toxic waste products of larva, pachymeningitis and vascular insufficiency.[2],[5],[8] However, in the microsurgical era, good surgical outcome has been reported.[1],[13]
There are reports documenting successful treatment with anticysticercal drugs.[3],[4] Medical treatment of intramedullary spinal cysticercosis can be considered in patients with a stable neurological status but this may not be possible in an acute or progressive neurological state.[14] Postoperative anticysticercal drugs should be instituted as cysticercosis is a generalized disease with focal manifestation,[1] as is also evident in our case. 

 » References Top

1.Mohanty A, Venkatrama SK, Das S, Das BS, Rao BR, Vasudev MK. Spinal Intramedullary cysticercosis. Neurosurgery 1997;40:82-7.  Back to cited text no. 1  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
2.Castillo M, Quencer RM, Post MJ. MR of Intramedullary spinal cysticercosis Am J Neuroradiol 1988;9:393-5.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Corral I, Quereda C, Merena A, et al. Intramedullary cysticercosis cured with drug treatment. Spine 1996;21:2284-7.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Garg RK, Nag D. Spinal cysticercosis: Response to albendazole: Case reports and review of literature. Spinal Cord 1998;36:67-70.  Back to cited text no. 4  [PUBMED]  
5.Quieroz LDS, Filho AP, Callegaro D, Faria LLD. Intramedullary cysticercosis case report, literature review and comments on pathogenesis. J Nuerol Sci 1975;26:61-70.  Back to cited text no. 5    
6.Sotelo J, GuerreroV, Rubio F. Neurocysticercosis: A new Classification based on active and inactive forms: A Study of 753 cases. Arch Intern Med 1985;145:442-5.  Back to cited text no. 6    
7.Trelles JO, Caceres A, Palomino L. La cysticercose medullare. Rev Neurol (Paris) 1970;123:187-202,12.   Back to cited text no. 7    
8.Mathuriya SN, Khosla VK, Vasishta RK, Tewari MK, Pathak A, Prabhakar P. Intramedullary Cysticercosis: MRI diagnosis. Neurology India 2001;49:71-4.  Back to cited text no. 8    
9.Sharma BS, Banerjee AK, Kak VK. Intramedullary spinal cysticercosis: Case report and review of literature, Clin Neurol Neurosurgery 1987;89:116-1.  Back to cited text no. 9    
10.Kishore LT, Gayatri K, Naidu MRC, Mateen MA, Dinakar I, Ramakar KS. Intramedullary spinal cord cysticercosis; A case report and literature review. Indian journal pathol Microbiol 1991;34:219-21.  Back to cited text no. 10    
11.Tsang VCW, Brand JA, Boyer AE. An Enzyme linked immuno electrotrasfer blot assay and glycoprotien antigens for diagnosis of human cysticercosis. J infect Dis 1989;159:50-9.  Back to cited text no. 11    
12.Leite CC, Jinkin JR, Escobar BE, et al. MR imaging of intramedullary and intradural-extramedullary spinal cysticercosis. AJR 1997;169:1713-7.  Back to cited text no. 12    
13.Holtzman RN, Hughes JE, Sachadev RK, Jarenwattananon A: Intramedullary cysticrcosis Surg Neurol 1986;26:187-91.  Back to cited text no. 13    
14.Alsina GA, Johnson JP, McBride DQ, et al. Spinal neurocysticercosis. Neurosurg Focus 2002;12:1-7.  Back to cited text no. 14    


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