Calcified Neurocysticercosis: Demographic, Clinical, and Radiological Characteristics of a Large Hospital-Based Patient Cohort

on behalf of the Cysticercosis Working Group in Peru (CWGP)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Neurocysticercosis (NCC), the infection of the central nervous system caused by Taenia solium larvae (cysticerci), is a major cause of acquired epilepsy worldwide. Calcification in NCC is the most common neuroimaging finding among individuals with epilepsy in T. solium-endemic areas. We describe the demographic, clinical, and radiological profiles of a large hospital cohort of patients with calcified NCC in Peru (during the period 2012–2022) and compared profiles between patients with and without a previous known diagnosis of viable infection. A total of 524 patients were enrolled (mean age at enrollment: 40.2 ± 15.2 years, mean age at symptom onset: 29.1 ± 16.1 years, 56.3% women). Of those, 415 patients (79.2%) had previous seizures (median time with seizures: 5 years, interquartile range (IQR): 2–13 years; median number of seizures: 7 (IQR: 3–32)), of which 333 (80.2%) had predominantly focal to bilateral tonic-clonic seizures; and 358 (68.3%) used antiseizure medication). Patients had a median number of three calcifications (IQR: 1–7), mostly located in the frontal lobes (79%). In 282 patients (53.8%) there was a previous diagnosis of viable infection, while 242 only had evidence of calcified NCC since their initial neuroimaging. Most patients previously diagnosed with viable infection were male, had previous seizures, had seizures for a longer time, had more calcifications, and had a history of taeniasis more frequently than patients without previously diagnosed viable infection (all p < 0.05). Patients with calcified NCC were heterogeneous regarding burden of infection and clinical manifestations, and individuals who were diagnosed after parasites calcified presented with milder disease manifestations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number26
JournalPathogens
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2024

Keywords

  • calcification
  • epilepsy
  • Neurocysticercosis
  • Peru
  • Taenia solium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this