Neurocysticercosis | RRTM

1Department of Neurology, Psychology and Psychiatry, Botucatu Medical School, UNESP –Universidad de Estadual Paulista, Botucatu, Brazil; 2Instituto Nacional de Neurología y Neurocirugía Manuel Velasco Suarez, Ciudad de México, México; 3Departamento de Medicina Genómica y Toxicología Ambiental, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México, México; 4Clínica de Neurocisticercosis, Instituto Nacional de Neurología Y Neurocirugía Manuel Velasco Suarez, Ciudad de México, México

Correspondence: Agnès Fleury, Insurgentes Sur 3877 CP 14269 Barrio La Fama, Tlalpan, Ciudad de México, México, Tel +52 5556063822, Email [email protected]

Abstract: Neurocysticercosis, as a result of localization of Taenia solium larvae within the Central Nervous System, is a uncared for tropical illness nonetheless endemic in a lot of Latin America, Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The therapeutic administration of NC has step by step improved with the institution of neuroimaging research (CT and MRI) in endemic nations and with the demonstration of the efficacy of albendazole and praziquantel within the Eighties. But the morbidity and mortality of this preventable illness stay an unacceptable truth. In this scoping evaluation, we are going to revise the completely different therapy choices and their indications.

Keywords: uncared for tropical illness, neurocysticercosis, therapy, evaluation, T. solium


Neurocysticercosis (NC), the commonest parasitic illness of the Central Nervous System (CNS), is a heterogeneous illness during which therapy choices rely totally on the placement of the parasites.

Caused by ingestion of embryonated eggs of the helminth Taenia solium, this illness is a marker of poverty, clearly linked to an surroundings with poor excreta disposal and free-range pigs. Therefore, it’s a public well being drawback in low- and middle-income nations (LMIC), corresponding to in Latin America, Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa.

T. solium cysticercosis was added by World Health Organization (WHO) to the record of main Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in 2010 with NTD roadmap objectives of creating accessible a validated technique for management and elimination of T. solium taeniasis/cysticercosis and people interventions to be scaled up in chosen nations by 2020.1 Indeed, based on the worldwide burden of illness atlas of 2019, neurocysticercosis was estimated to be the reason for 1.37 million Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) across the globe.2 In Latin America and the Caribbean, it’s thought-about the uncared for tropical illness with the very best burden.3 Unfortunately, as its prognosis require neuroimaging research not accessible to all in endemic nations, exact information on its epidemiology are missing. In some nations, latest information exhibits a transparent lower in its incidence, though, in others, the exercise of an infection appears to be nonetheless very current.4–8

Life Cycle

The pure life cycle of the T. solium entails the pigs and the people as hosts. Pigs change into intermediate hosts by consuming embryonated eggs (or gravid proglottids) from human feces in locations the place feces disposal is poor. The parasite then hatches and invades the intestinal wall, enters the bloodstream and migrates to a number of tissues, such because the striatal muscle, the place they change into cysticerci. After human consumption of contaminated undercooked pork meat, the cysticerci hatch within the small gut. At that second, the tapeworm attaches itself to the intestinal wall by its scolex, a jaw-like organ bearing suckers and hooks.4

Humans can even change into intermediate hosts by consuming greens/fruits or ingesting water contaminated by T. solium eggs or by human-to-human contagion. The similar situation as within the case of pork will happen, and probably the most affected organs would be the striatal muscle, subcutaneous tissues, central nervous system, and eyes. When positioned within the CNS, the illness is known as neurocysticercosis.

Evolution of the Disease

Once within the CNS, the cysticerci can keep viable of their vesicular kind for years and even many years if the host’s immune system tolerates them. This latency interval, usually asymptomatic, appears to be for much longer when parasites are within the extraparenchymal compartment than when they’re contained in the parenchyma.9 However, when the host’s inflammatory response begins, the cysticerci endure completely different levels of involution. The first is the colloidal stage, the place the inflammatory response across the cyst is seen and the place the inside fluid turns turbid (granular stage). Gradually, the cysticerci calcify (calcified stage) or disappear, the inflammatory response diminishes and is typically changed by gliotic adjustments. Externalization of cysticerci’s antigens by the transforming of calcified lesions might produce perilesional edema, probably related to scientific manifestations.10


NC is a extremely heterogeneous illness, with its manifestation primarily relying on the localization of the parasite starting from headache to epilepsy or hydrocephalus.11 It can be vital to notice that NC is incessantly asymptomatic, as computed tomography (CT)-scan research made in endemic communities have demonstrated.11

Depending on the placement, two shows are attainable. In the parenchymal location, epilepsy is the commonest manifestation, however headache, focal deficits, and cognitive and psychiatric signs may be current. Because the parenchymal location is the commonest, epilepsy is the first scientific manifestation of NC, occurring in 60–90% of sufferers.12,13 When cysts are positioned within the extraparenchymal compartment, the primary symptom is intracranial hypertension, it’s going to happen in round 70% of sufferers.11 In this location, stroke syndromes have been described in round 3% of the sufferers, largely associated to the initiation of therapy and its respective induced inflammatory response.14 Focal neurological indicators can current a number of phenotypes in round 20% of sufferers with neurocysticercosis.15 The most typical of them are motor signs resulting from pyramidal tract lesions, Nevertheless, sensory or language disturbances, corresponding to involuntary actions, can even happen. These manifestations will be slowly progressive and associated to parenchymal cysts or massive subarachnoid cysts compressing mind parenchyma.15


The gold normal of prognosis stays neuroimaging research (CT-scan, magnetic resonance imaging – MRI).13 And this most likely stays the primary drawback, when it comes to profitable prognosis and therapy, due to the difficulties for the overall inhabitants in endemic nations to entry these applied sciences. CT scan is superior to MRI for calcified NC (the primary kind) and can be very environment friendly for diagnosing parenchymal cysts.16 For extraparenchymal cysts, MRI, particularly 3D sequences, is clearly superior permitting good visualization of cysts.17

Serological prognosis exams are an extra instrument that may be of relevance to assist, primarily when doubts exist in neuroimages. Detection of antibodies and antigens will be performed, and completely different methods have been used, at present principally enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and enzyme-linked immunoelectrotransfer blot (EITB).18 The presence of particular antigens is an indication of a viable an infection, whereas antibodies are nonetheless current when the an infection is inactive.19

Based on the proof described, completely different units of diagnostic standards and proposals for specific settings have been produced.12,20–22

Treatment Options

Medical Treatments

Antihelminthic (AH)

Although greater than 30 years have handed since anthelmintics have been first used, no new molecules have confirmed efficient, and we proceed to make use of the medicine authorised for this goal within the Eighties.

Albendazole (ABZ)

It is a broad-spectrum anthelmintic antiparasitic agent energetic in opposition to intestinal roundworms, lungworms and tapeworms. The examine of ABZ for human drugs was initiated in 1979 and in 1987, Escobedo et al confirmed that the drug was efficient within the therapy of NC.23 ABZ interferes with the glucose consumption of parasites and depletes their glycogen shops. It additionally impacts the manufacturing of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the power required for the survival of the helminth. It is poorly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, however after absorption it’s quickly transformed within the liver in albendazole sulfoxide (ABZSO) that’s the foremost energetic type of the drug and is distributed all through the physique.24 Administration of ABZ with a fatty meal considerably improve its bioavailability, as its administration with grapefruit juice, whereas its administration with cimetidine decreases it. Administration of various antiepileptic medicine (phenytoin, carbamazepine, phenobarbital) with ABZ reduces the plasma focus of ABZSO. On the opposite hand, when ABZ is run concurrently with dexamethasone, plasma ranges of ABZSO elevated considerably.25

The beneficial doses to deal with NC sufferers different between 15 and 30 mg/kg/day, to be taken in 2 doses per day, throughout 8 to 10 days. 15 mg/kg/day is adequate for parenchymal NC (Figure 1), whereas in case of extraparenchymal illness, 30 mg/kg/day has confirmed to be extra environment friendly (Figures 2 and 3).26 It was demonstrated, in parenchymal and extraparenchymal places, that therapy response is considerably related to greater plasmatic concentrations of ABZSO. Main secondary results are a transient enhance of hepatic enzymes and reversible alopecia.27,28

Figure 1 MRI-FIESTA sequences. Pre (A) and put up ((B), 6 months after) cysticidal therapy of three cysts, one parenchymal, one positioned in a subarachnoid sulcus, and one within the Sylvian fissure.

Figure 2 MRI-FIESTA sequences. Pre (A) and put up ((B), 6 months after) cysticidal therapy of a number of racemose NC cysts positioned in basal subarachnoid cisterns.

Figure 3 MRI-FIESTA axial sequences. Pre (A) and put up ((B), 6 months after) cysticidal therapy of a NC cyst positioned within the fourth ventricle.

Praziquantel (PZQ)

PZQ is generally provided in 600 mg tablets, and it has been used for human cysticercosis therapy since 1979.29 Although nonetheless not fully understood for the larvae, PZQ in grownup worms causes a speedy muscular contraction and tegumental disruption that results in the exposition of parasite antigens on the worm floor.24 PZQ is quickly absorbed with a excessive inter-individual variation, and plasma peak focus is reached 1.5−2h after administration. Administration of PZQ with a excessive carbohydrate meal enhances its bioavailability, and medicines that inhibit cytochrome P450 enhance its plasma ranges. Dexamethasone and completely different antiepileptic medicine (phenytoin, carbamazepine, phenobarbital, and primidone) cut back PZQ plasma ranges. The beneficial dose to deal with NC sufferers is 50 mg/kg/day for 10 to fifteen days.

Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

It is changing into more and more clear that the inflammatory response in opposition to parasites is likely one of the main pathological mechanisms of NC.30 Before using anti-inflammatory medicine, the prognosis of NC sufferers was poor. For instance, in sufferers with EP-NC difficult by hydrocephalus and requiring ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS) placement, the mortality price was roughly 50%, with most deaths occurring throughout the first 2 years after placement.31 Similarly, within the early days of anthelmintic drug use, a number of stories highlighted the incidence of significant adversarial results resulting from an exacerbated inflammatory response.32–34 The first publication displaying the worth of corticosteroids in NC sufferers was printed in 1982.35 In 1996, the advantage of corticosteroids in extraparenchymal (EP)-NC sufferers with VPS was demonstrated,36 and at present corticosteroids, in case of anthelmintic administration or extreme irritation, are beneficial in nearly all kinds of NC.37 Because of the potential severity of inflammatory problems in sufferers with EP-NC (arachnoiditis, vasculitis, and secondary stroke), doses are usually greater than for parenchymal localization. It is related to say that the attainable twin position of corticosteroids on symptom management and parasite survival has been raised resulting from their immunosuppressive results that stop an acceptable host response.38,39 Despite this, as a result of severity of attainable inflammatory problems and the dearth of non-immunosuppressive choices, their use is at present mandatory as a result of the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. However, additional analysis is required to seek out different anti-inflammatory choices and to outline markers to establish which sufferers have a extra inflammatory propensity to personalize therapy.38

In circumstances of corticosteroid resistance or extreme adversarial occasions resulting from their software, immunosuppressants, corresponding to methotrexate, TNF-α inhibitor, or azathioprine, have been proposed by different researchers.40,41 These stories are at present anecdotal, and additional research are wanted to evaluate their utility.

Antiepileptic Drugs

Epilepsy is the commonest symptom of NC, primarily when the placement is within the parenchyma.11 Studies within the late twentieth or early twenty first century confirmed that NC was the main explanation for late-onset epilepsy in endemic nations.36,42,43 More latest research appear to indicate a lower in its significance, though extra info is required to verify these outcomes.44,45

Epilepsy appears effectively managed by antiepileptic medicine (AE), though research specializing in this level and exact estimations are missing. It is vital to do not forget that since endemic nations are poor nations, the therapy hole (lack or irregularity of therapy, inadequate dosage) resulting from financial elements is excessive. This is a vital side to contemplate when evaluating therapy efficacy.46 One examine in Brazil evaluating causes of intractable epilepsy in 512 sufferers discovered calcified cysticerci lesions in 27% of sufferers however solely in 1.56%, this picture was the distinctive neuroimaging function. In the opposite circumstances, calcified NC was related to different lesions, principally mesial temporal sclerosis.47 The authors conclude that NC isn’t the reason for intractable epilepsy. However, the query of a causal hyperlink between mesial temporal sclerosis with NC exists, and additional proof is required to help these conclusions.48

The most used medicine are carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital and valproic acid. There isn’t any proof that therapy ought to be completely different from different epilepsy causes. One examine asserts no distinction in efficacy between carbamazepine and levetiracetam,49 though some methodological features of this examine have been raised after its publication.50 A latest examine in kids with solitary viable parenchymal cysts confirmed comparable efficacy with fewer adversarial results of lacosamide in comparison with oxcarbazepine.51 Frequently the primary argument for deciding which drug to make use of ought to be the supply and value of therapy.

Surgical Treatments

The surgical administration of NC has advanced within the final twenty years when it comes to indication and microsurgical methods. Previously, many sufferers with elevated intracranial stress (IPC) have been managed surgically, no matter the placement of the parasites, particularly in circumstances of a pseudotumoral type of NC. The prognosis was poor, with excessive charges of morbidity and mortality.52 The change of the scientific and epidemiologic footage of NC,53 with a decrease proportion of circumstances with big parenchymal cysts and cysticercosis encephalitis, modified the surgical indications of NC as effectively.

According to the final pointers for the prognosis and therapy of NC, at present, surgical therapy is principally reserved for intraventricular cysts (power of advice robust, degree of confidence average). However, there are not any printed high-quality trials supporting that surgical procedure is superior to medical therapy on this location.54 The foremost benefit of surgical elimination of the cysts is that their full elimination dismisses the necessity for post-operative cysticidal therapy and typically, the necessity for everlasting ventricle-peritoneal shunts for hydrocephalus.55,56

Classical Extraction

Nowadays, the surgical position for parenchymal cysts is of exception, reserved for cysts with a major mass impact, since most sufferers will be safely and successfully managed with anthelmintics and anti-inflammatories. Besides, the surgical routes for some places might add neurological deficits in case of harm to the traditional tissue.

Cysts positioned within the ventricular system and the basal subarachnoid area might finally be eliminated utilizing classical neurosurgical approaches so long as the cysts shouldn’t have inflammatory reactions round them and are free-floating (Figure 4A–C). Therefore, optimum pre-operative imaging is important to help the surgical elimination of cysts, ie, a three-d acquisition to test the exact location of the cysts and gadolinium enhancement acquisitions to test any inflammatory reactions surrounding the cysts.17 Besides, a wonderful microsurgical armamentarium is good: a surgical microscope with depth of view management, micro scissors, micro dissectors, and bipolar forceps. The lack of ample pre-operative workup and surgical instruments might add threat for the surgical therapy, and it should be prudent, particularly in low-income settings.

Figure 4 MRI-FIESTA axial sequences and intraoperative view of a fourth ventricle cyst (AC) and of a 3rd ventricle cyst (DF) earlier than (A and D), throughout (B and E) and after endoscopic resection (C) or microsurgery (F).

For spinal NC, microsurgical elimination of cysts performs an vital position when there are indicators of spinal compression resulting in neurological deficits. A latest systematic evaluation on the therapy of spinal NC instructed that the mix of surgical to medical therapy offers superior outcomes than surgical procedure or medical therapy alone.57

Endoscopic Surgery

The use of neuro-endoscopes added a major enchancment to the administration of a number of illnesses, together with NC. This is a minimally invasive surgical procedure during which a as soon as burr-hole offers entry to most components of the ventricles, permitting for cysts elimination and therapy of hydrocephalus with a 3rd ventriculostomy (Figure 4D–F).

There are a number of well-illustrated case sequence demonstrating the advantages and efficacy of endoscopic surgical procedure for cyst elimination.58,59 In circumstances of free-floating cysts within the lateral ventricles, steady irrigation permits for restoration of the cysts, which might be hardly achieved with typical craniotomy approaches.

For endoscopic surgical procedure, two main considerations ought to be thought-about: the danger of bleeding and manipulation of the cerebral aqueduct. Despite the low threat of bleeding with well-experienced surgeons, it should be remembered that hemostasis is harder in endoscopic surgical procedure than in conventional microsurgery, particularly in circumstances of large-vessels injury. And concerning the manipulation of the cerebral aqueduct, it might happen throughout makes an attempt to achieve the fourth ventricle by this skinny work channel, posing the danger of post-operative ocular abnormalities and coma. This threat is considerably decreased through the use of versatile endoscopes.60

Surgery of Epilepsy

As said earlier than, pharmacological therapy of seizures in NC is the primary alternative, and most sufferers appear to have a superb response when it comes to seizure management if AE therapy is taken appropriately. Besides, antiparasitic therapy of NC additionally has a passable long-term impact on seizure evolution.61 Therefore, the position of surgical procedure should be reserved for circumstances refractory to medical therapy.

Surgery for NC-related epilepsy will be labeled as lesionectomy and mesial temporal lobe surgical procedure. Lesionectomy is the resection of the epileptogenic lesion (which can be merely a scar tissue from earlier destroyed cyst) and it ought to be carried out solely after intensive pre-operative investigation of the epileptogenic zone and, ideally, with the help of intraoperative electrocorticography for correct resection of the world with irregular discharges.62

Regarding mesial temporal lobe surgical procedure, there’s a present intensive dialogue within the literature on the connection between NC and mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis (MTLE-HS). Many authors argue that this affiliation is merely an informal relationship, whereas others level to causal elements figuring out MTLE-HS in sufferers with NC.48,63 Besides, MTLE-HS generally is a differential prognosis in sufferers with seizures non-concordant with NC localization. Despite this dialogue, it appears clear that mesial temporal lobe surgical procedure is an efficient choice for drug-resistant seizures, offering long-term seizure management and cessation of anti-epileptic medicine. Surgical prospects embody anterior temporal lobectomy and selective amygdalohippocampectomy, and the choice might absorb consideration the placement of the NC lesion within the temporal lobe in addition to the surgeon’s expertise.63,64

Ventricle-Peritoneal Shunts (VPS) Placement

Hydrocephalus is likely one of the most severe problems of NC and could also be current in as much as 70% of the sufferers with EP-NC.11 It can be the commonest explanation for raised intracranial stress amongst sufferers with NC. Inflammation and mechanical obstruction are the 2 foremost mechanisms liable for growing hydrocephalus in NC. Inflammation causes epididymitis and arachnoiditis that compromise the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) stream within the ventricles and the subarachnoid area. Mechanic obstruction happens both by direct cyst entrapment throughout the narrowest factors of the CSF stream or resulting from inflammatory scars within the ventricular system.30,31 It can be attainable that a rise within the CSF viscosity associated to excessive protein ranges and obstruction of the arachnoid villi contribute to the event of hydrocephalus. Therefore, if cyst elimination is sufficient to restore the CSF stream by unblocking the ventricular system, no additional interventions are wanted.

However, in lots of circumstances, inflammatory reactions stay throughout the CSF compartments, even with out viable cysts. In these circumstances, a VPS is required to alleviate the elevated ICP and its associated signs (ie, headache, nausea, vomiting, blurred imaginative and prescient) (Figure 5). It is related to notice that some report factors to the truth that VPS in NC is at greater threat of an infection and malfunction, and mortality in sufferers with NC-induced hydrocephalus is greater and straight associated to the variety of VPS revisions.65 It has been proposed that post-shunt therapy with Albendazole reduces the danger of additional shunt malfunction.66 However, it’s attainable that the position of Albendazole in these circumstances is said to the elimination of remaining cysts and, due to this fact, the decision of the reason for hydrocephalus.

Figure 5 CT-scans of a affected person with subarachnoid cysts and hydrocephalus. Before (A and B) and after (C and D) placement of a VPS and administration of cysticidal therapy.

Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy (ETV)

Besides the elimination of free-floating cysts contained in the ventricular methods, endoscopic approaches are additionally useful in treating obstructive hydrocephalus. The inflammatory reactions focused to remove the cysts might trigger epididymitis that obstructs the narrowest factors of CSF stream, such because the cerebral aqueduct, inflicting hydrocephalus. Therefore, ETV offers another route for the CSF stream: straight from the third ventricle in direction of the subarachnoid area (Figure 6).58 Such as in different intraventricular illnesses, it’s endorsed that the strategy to intraventricular lesions consists of an ETV, offering an inner CSF diversion. The mixture of cyst elimination and ETV is a much less invasive process than typical craniotomies and avoids shunt placement with all associated problems.67

Figure 6 MRI-FLAIR sequences [before (A), after (C)] and intraoperative view (B) of a affected person in whom a 3rd endoscopic ventriculostomy was carried out to deal with hydrocephalus.

Besides ETV, endoscopic approaches may also be useful to deal with remoted hydrocephalus of a single lateral ventricle with septostomy and dilatation of the foramen of Monro utilizing foraminotomy.68

Treatment of Parenchymal Cysticercosis

Parenchyma is the extra frequent location for NC. Although a number of elements are most likely concerned in variations in prevalence between endemic nations (ie, an infection stress), this location appears to exist between 70% of the sufferers.9 As mentioned earlier than, this type is the extra benign, as signs (primarily epilepsy) are managed by AH medicine.

Treatment with anthelminthic medicine is now largely accepted within the case of symptomatic vesicular parenchymal cysts, as proven within the final pointers (power of advice robust, degree of confidence average).37 Doses of ALB and PZQ are these talked about earlier than, and their use is considerably related to full radiological decision (RR 2.52, 95% CI 1.65 to three.85).69 Two managed research carried out by the identical analysis group confirmed that the mix of each medicine (ABZ 15 mg/kg/day and PZQ 50 mg/kg/day for ten days) was considerably extra environment friendly than ABZ alone in sufferers with three or extra cysts.70,71 This elevated efficacy appears to be associated to a major enhance in albendazole sulfoxide plasmatic focus.72 Corticosteroids are beneficial at some point earlier than and in the course of the anthelminthic therapy, though optimum doses and length are unknown, as they’ll rely on the quantity, dimension, and placement of parasites.37 The addition of AE medicine in case of epilepsy is important. Still, the necessity for prophylactic AE therapy along with AH with out earlier seizures just isn’t demonstrated.73 Particular consideration should be supplied if a number of (>10) cysts are current. In these circumstances, hospitalization of the affected person and excessive doses of corticosteroids is essentially related to anthelminthic medicine. No info evaluating therapeutic schemes is on the market, however it’s attainable to keep away from a generalized inflammatory response with a number of cycles of decrease doses of anthelminthic as an alternative of a single cycle with excessive doses.12

The therapy of asymptomatic vesicular cysts is controversial as a result of the proof for particular administration is missing. The indisputable fact that calcified parasites are incessantly recognized in asymptomatic sufferers and not using a historical past of seizures or different neurological signs exhibits that the method of parasite involution is incessantly asymptomatic. However, it is usually clear that this course of, occurring with out anti-inflammatory therapy, can generate seizures. To deal with or to not deal with, each attitudes are comprehensible; nevertheless, if an remark technique is chosen, radiological follow-up each 6 months is beneficial.

Regarding degenerating (colloidal) cysts, latest pointers suggest anthelminthic therapy (Strength of this advice: weak. Level of confidence: average).37 In these circumstances, degeneration and determination of the lesions is in course of, and the parasites are metabolically inactive and with no proof of antigen manufacturing. As mentioned in a latest meta-analysis, proof nonetheless must be supplied concerning what perspective is one of the best.74 If anthelminthic therapy is chosen, ABZ and PZQ are beneficial on the similar doses as vesicular varieties. Two Indian research consider the mix of each medicine. Results are contrasting since, in contrast with ABZ alone, the primary examine confirmed a non-significant enhance in efficacy, whereas the second discovered a major enhance in efficacy. AE therapy is beneficial in sufferers with seizures and is perhaps withdrawn 6 months after the final seizure if decision with out calcification happens. Corticosteroids are additionally beneficial; their use appears to have a helpful impact, each on seizure discount and cyst decision.74–76

A specific case is the presence of a number of degenerating parasites (cysticercosis encephalitis). In this case, anthelminthic is contraindicated within the acute part, the place measures to lower intracranial hypertension would be the solely ones to be carried out.12

Calcified cysts required solely symptomatic therapy, primarily AE. Duration of therapy continues to be not demonstrated, but it surely is perhaps at the least 2 years after the final seizure, though proof is scarce. In inflammatory reactions round calcification, it isn’t demonstrated that corticosteroid administration can enhance symptomatology.37,73

As talked about earlier than, the place of surgical procedure in these circumstances is now restricted to massive cysts with important mass impact, and surgical procedure for epilepsy within the circumstances the place it’s demonstrated that calcification (or MTLE-HS probably linked to NC) represents the epileptic foci.

A flow-chart for therapy of parenchymal NC is proven in Figure 7.

Figure 7 Treatment flow-chart for parenchymal NC.

Treatment of Extraparenchymal Cysticercosis

This matter might be the one that also has probably the most unknowns. Evidence for this remark is that within the final pointers, on the ten suggestions, proof has low high quality in 70% of them, and the power is weak in 50% of them.37

However, a number of factors are clear. Inflammation is the primary pathogenic mechanism and ought to be handled adequately. As an vital heterogeneity concerning the depth of inflammatory reactions between sufferers exists, an analysis earlier than therapy is required. We suggest to carry out a lumbar puncture earlier than therapy (if no intracranial hypertension exists, or after its correction by VPS if exists) to judge cytochemical traits and an intracranial Doppler or an angio scan to judge presence of vasculitis. Angio scan is perhaps most well-liked as false constructive prognosis of vasculitis resulting from mass impact of cyst on arteries might happen with intracranial Doppler. In case of vasculitis, anthelminthic therapy ought to be averted so long as it persists. The use of corticosteroids is required on this case, but additionally, if no vasculitis is detected as anthelminthic will enhance the inflammatory response. Doses is perhaps excessive (0.4 mg/kg/day, starting earlier than anthelminthic and through all of the therapy), and the rate of tapering will rely on the depth of the inflammatory response.

The efficacy of anthelminthic is decrease than within the case of parenchymal cysts. The causes are usually not fully clear, though the truth that parasites on this location lie in an acellular medium (cerebrospinal fluid) makes troublesome the event of an environment friendly immune response mandatory for the destruction of parasites. To enhance the efficacity of anthelminthic, two methods are used; to extend the doses; certainly, it was proven that using 30 mg/kg is considerably extra environment friendly than using 15 mg/kg/day.26 The different technique is to extend the interval of administration of anthelmintics. Some authors argue that their administration ought to be continued till indicators of degeneration are seen on imaging.77

Surgery for extraparenchymal cysticercosis will depend on the localization of cysts. For the basal subarachnoid location, surgical procedure poses appreciable threat of harm to cranial nerves, massive vessels, and the mind parenchyma. As talked about earlier than, a preoperative MRI is vital to evaluate indicators of energetic irritation, which prevents surgical elimination of cysts. Surgery ought to be reserved for circumstances with raised ICP or compression of buildings with threat of everlasting deficits (corresponding to optic nerve compression with visible worsening).78

For ventricle location, surgical elimination of cysts will be as efficient as medical therapy. The benefits of surgical procedure in these circumstances depend on the potential of treating hydrocephalus concurrently, decreasing the necessity for a particular VP shunt, and on the potential of no additional anti-helminthic brokers wanted in circumstances of elimination of all cysts.55

A flow-chart for therapy of extraparenchymal NC is proven in Figure 8.

Figure 8 Treatment flow-chart for extraparenchymal NC.


In conclusion, though nice strides have been made within the therapy of NC, a lot work stays to be performed to know one of the best administration of a number of situations. However, primarily based on present data, the next suggestions will be made: 1) for vesicular parenchymal NC, anthelminthics ought to be utilized in mixture with corticosteroid to keep away from deteriorating scientific signs. 2) For degenerative parenchymal cysts, doubts stay about one of the best administration – if anthelminthics or easy follow-up. 3) Calcified cysts require solely symptomatic therapy. 4) For extraparenchymal NC, consideration ought to be pushed to deal with hydrocephalus with surgical choices (endoscopic third ventriculostomy or VP shunt), and vasculitis (with corticosteroids). 5) Surgical elimination of cysts (primarily with endoscopic methods) is an excellent choice in circumstances of ventricular cysts, with the benefit of no additional therapy if all cysts are eliminated. 6) In circumstances of basal subarachnoid cysts and ventricular cysts not amenable to endoscopic elimination, anthelminthics mixed with corticosteroids ought to be used with greater doses or extended length.


NC, neurocysticercosis; AH, anthelmintic; ALB, albendazole; PZQ, praziquantel; ABZSO, Albendazole sulfoxide.


The authors report no conflicts of curiosity on this work.


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