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Childhood Cerebral Cysticercosis: Clinical Features and Computed Tomographic Findings in 89 Mexican Children

  • Arturo López-Hernández (a1) and Carmen Garaizar (a1)

Summary:

Cerebral cysticercosis was studied in 89 Mexican children. These patients were divided into two groups; those with proven diagnosis and those in whom the diagnosis was strongly suspected. The frequency of childhood cysticercosis at autopsy is significantly less than reported in adults from the same environment. Symptoms of initial cerebral invasion by the parasite include headache, fever, vomiting, and seizures. Cerebral edema is observed more frequently in children than in adults, and is the most common cause of intracranial hypertension. The cerebral edema generally is associated with an encephalitic syndrome, either a single bout or a chronic course with multiple relapses. Arterial hypertension, not previously described, was found in two probable cases. The variability of clinical symptomatology thus is great. Symptoms in childhood cerebral cysticercosis may be totally absent, moderate, or severe and ultimately fatal. Computed tomography of the brain is the most useful diagnostic aid, and determines the dynamic neuroradiologic sequence of this disease, since different images appear at each stage to permit its diagnosis. Uncalcified cysticerci may be demonstrated by contrast enhancement if associated with focal cerebral edema; images thus may disappear and reappear in the clinical course of the disease.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Servicio de Neurologia, Instituto Nacional de Pediatria D.I.F., Insurgentes Sur 3700-C, Mexico, D.F., Mexico 14410

References

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