Home | About JCVJS | Editorial board | Ahead of print | Current Issue | Archives | Instructions | Subscribe | Advertise | Contact us |   Login 
Journal of Craniovertebral Junction and Spine
Search Articles   
    
Advanced search   
 


 
   Table of Contents  
CASE REPORT
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 285-288  

Spinal cysticercosis: A report of two cases with review of literature


1 Department of Pathology, Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Neurosurgery, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Neuroradiology, Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, New Delhi, India

Date of Web Publication2-Nov-2016

Correspondence Address:
Ishita Pant
Department of Pathology, Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, Dilshad Garden, New Delhi - 110 095
India
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-8237.193261

Rights and Permissions
   Abstract 

Neurocysticercosis is the most common parasitic infection of the central nervous system worldwide. However, Cysticercosis affecting the spine is considered extremely rare. We report two cases of spinal cysticercosis with review of literature.

Keywords: Cysticercosis; intramedullary; spine.


How to cite this article:
Pant I, Chaturvedi S, Singh G, Gupta S, Kumari R. Spinal cysticercosis: A report of two cases with review of literature. J Craniovert Jun Spine 2016;7:285-8

How to cite this URL:
Pant I, Chaturvedi S, Singh G, Gupta S, Kumari R. Spinal cysticercosis: A report of two cases with review of literature. J Craniovert Jun Spine [serial online] 2016 [cited 2018 May 25];7:285-8. Available from: http://www.jcvjs.com/text.asp?2016/7/4/285/193261


   Introduction Top


Cysticercosis is the most common parasitic central nervous system (CNS) infection worldwide.[1] The vast majority of neurocysticercosis are usually found at meningo basal (30%), parenchymal (20%), intraventricular (17%), intraspinal (1%), or mixed locations (32%).[2] Intraspinal cases are extremely rare; incidence of spinal cysticercosis varies from 0.7% to 5.85%.[3] Spinal cysticercosis commonly affects the subarachnoid space compared to the spinal cord substance.[4] A purely intramedullary location as reported in this paper is quite exceptional. We report two cases of spinal cysticercosis, diagnosed only after histopathological examination, one of which was intramedullary in its location.


   Case Reports Top


Case 1

A 60 year old male presented with a 3 month history of a gradually progressive weakness of both the lower limbs with associated bowel and bladder dysfunction for 20 days. Neurological examination disclosed spastic paraparesis with decreased motor power in both the lower limbs.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain was normal. MRI of the dorsolumbar spine was performed on a 3 Tesla MRI scanner. Multiplanar conventional T1 weighted image (T1WI), T2 weighted image (T2WI), and postcontrast T1WI were acquired. A well defined intramedullary cystic lesion was seen in the conus at T11 vertebral level causing focal swelling of the cord, homogeneously hypointense on T1WI, and hyperintense on T2WI with slight peripheral edema. The subarachnoid space from T11 to T12 was narrow due to the marked expansion of the spinal cord [Figure 1]a and [Figure 1]b. A differential diagnosis of granulomatous lesion and cysticercosis was made.
Figure 1: (a and b) Magnetic resonance imaging (axial T2 weighted images) at the level of conus medullaris reveals an intradural extramedullary cystic lesion compressing/displacing the conus and cauda equina rightward

Click here to view


The lesion was approached through a laminectomy from T11 to T12 exposing a swollen spinal cord with tense duramater at T11. A midline myelotomy was performed revealing a well circumscribed white cystic lesion. The cyst was dissected free from the surrounding spinal cord parenchyma without much difficulty and was removed totally.

Histopathology showed the typical parasitic cyst with multiple layers [Figure 2]a and [Figure 2]b. This case was reported as spinal cysticercosis.
Figure 2: (a and b) Histopathology showing all three layers (cuticular, cellular, and reticular) of neurocysticercosis (Hand E, ×200). (c and d) Histopathology showing the three layers (cuticular, cellular, and reticular) of neurocysticercosis and the sucker (H and E, ×200)

Click here to view


Postoperatively, the patient was treated with albendazole. After 2 weeks, the patient improved enough to ambulate with a walking aid. The postoperative course was uneventful and the patient was discharged. Regular follow up (3 years) is being done, and there are no signs of recurrence till date.

Case 2

A 25 year old female presented with a 5 year history of a gradually progressive weakness of both the lower limbs with associated pain and difficulty in walking for 1 month. Neurological examination disclosed decreased motor power in both the lower limbs.

MRI of the brain was normal. MRI of the dorsolumbar spine was performed on a 3 Tesla MRI scanner. Multiplanar conventional T1WI and T2WI were acquired. A large, oval shaped cystic lesion was seen involving the D12 to L2 vertebral level intraspinally intradural extramedullary indenting the spinal cord, homogeneously hypointense on T1WI [Figure 3]a and [Figure 3]b. Arachnoid cyst, epidermoid cyst, and cystic meningioma were considered in the differential diagnosis.
Figure 3: (a and b) Magnetic resonance imaging (sagittal and axial T2 weighted images) at the level of conus showing a thin-.walled intramedullary cystic mass expanding the conus with perifocal edema. No obvious solid components identified

Click here to view


The patient underwent a laminectomy from T12 to L2. The dura was tense at L1. On opening the dura, a 30 mm long, smooth spinal cord enlargement was seen. A midline myelotomy was performed revealing a well circumscribed white cystic lesion. The cyst was dissected free from the surrounding spinal cord parenchyma without much difficulty and was removed totally [Figure 4].
Figure 4: Microphotograph showing the intraoperative cyst

Click here to view


Histopathology showed the typical parasitic cyst with multiple layers [Figure 2]c and [Figure 2]d along with the sucker of the larval form. This case too was reported as spinal cysticercosis.

Postoperatively, the patient was treated with albendazole. The postoperative course was uneventful and the patient was discharged. Follow up (1 year) is being done showing a recovery in the motor power of her lower limbs.


   Discussion Top


Neurocysticercosis continues to be a major public health problem with a worldwide distribution, showing a higher prevalence in the developing regions of the world.[5] However, the prevalence is a variable depending mainly on sociocultural and economic factors. In addition, immigration from endemic to nonendemic areas is also one of the major factors influencing the prevalence.

CNS cysticercosis affects men and women equally. The peak incidence is between the third and fourth decades of life. It typically involves the brain parenchyma, intracranial subarachnoid space, or ventricles. Spinal cysticercosis is rare; it may be leptomeningeal, intramedullary, or epidural. Among these, leptomeningeal is the most common, intramedullary is rare, and epidural is extremely rare.[2] Most cases of spinal cysticercosis are usually associated with cerebral cysticercosis. Isolated spinal cysticercosis either intramedullary or extramedullary is extremely rare.[6] In our cases, there was no evidence of either cerebral or systemic cysticercosis.

Clinical manifestations of spinal cysticercosis depend on the number and topography of lesions, individual's immune response to the parasite, and the presence or absence of previous infestations. Clinically, the most common manifestation of spinal neurocysticercosis is root pain and progressive weakness in contrast to the parenchymal neurocysticercosis that manifests with epileptic seizures; subarachnoid neurocysticercosis that manifests with headache while intraventricular neurocysticercosis manifests as subacute or intermittent syndrome of intracranial hypertension. Neurological damage in spinal intramedullary cysticercosis is attributed to the following factors: (i) mechanical compression caused by the cyst, (ii) due to the cord edema as a result of inflammation caused by degenerating larva remnants, and (iii) gliosis.[7]

Sotelo and Carpio had defined three clinical stages of neurocysticercosis, namely, active, transitional, and inactive neurocysticercosis. Escobar has also defined four pathological stages of neurocysticercosis. They are vesicular, colloidal vesicular, granular nodular, and nodular calcified. Vesicular is active form, colloidal vesicular and granular nodular represent transitional stages while nodular calcified stage is an inactive stage of neurocysticercosis.[8] Clinical suspicion of spinal cysticercosis is difficult, especially when there is neither previous history of any parasitic infestation nor associated cerebral neurocysticercosis. In patients with clinical suspicion of neurocysticercosis, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) examination should be done as it provides a reliable evidence of inflammation; further immunoblot test may be performed to confirm the diagnosis of neurocysticercosis.[9] CSF examination was not done in our cases; otherwise, it could have provided a provisional diagnosis. Apart from CSF studies, MRI is one of the most useful diagnostic tools providing useful information in the evaluation of spinal neurocysticercosis patients. MRI, in addition to the diagnosis also provides precise information about the disease activity and its location, carrying important therapeutic implications.[10] Mathuriya et al. had described MRI findings for the different stages of intramedullary cysticercosis; the pathognomonic diagnostic feature is the presence of cyst with an eccentric mural nodule representing the scolex showing a hypointense rim with hyperintense core on T2W1 and hypointense or isointense lesion on T1W1.[11] However, these are not specific and the differentials include: Arachnoid cyst, ependymal cyst, neurenteric cyst, sarcoidosis, ependymoma, and infections including abscess.[12] In cases of spinal cysticercosis, the entire neuraxis should be evaluated to detect any additional lesion. In contrast to the existing literature, both our cases had isolated spinal cysticercosis.

A single therapeutic approach is not justifiable in spinal cysticercosis considering the pleomorphic nature of the disease. The decisive factors for the treatment of spinal cysticercosis are activity of the disease and location of parasites. Two mainstays of therapy are medical and surgical intervention. Surgical intervention should be considered in patients with acute onset of symptoms and in those where the diagnosis is in doubt as it not only provides decompression but also confirms the diagnosis after the histopathological examination and provides maximum chances of recovery avoiding the irreversible cord changes.[13] Results of surgical intervention are variable; Mohanty et al. in a case series of spinal intramedullary cysticercosis reported drastic recovery in 7/8 (87.5%) cases.[14] However, Sharma et al. reported improvement only in 60% of cases.[15] Both our cases had surgical removal of the cysts facilitating decompression and resolution of the cord edema, preventing any further damage, showing reasonably good recovery with minimal morbidity. Recent literature shows that according to American Society for Microbiology Current Consensus Guidelines for treatment of neurocysticercosis, treatment of intramedullary/extramedullary spinal cysticercosis should be surgical.[16]


   Conclusion Top


Spinal intramedullary cysticercosis remains a diagnostic challenge. It should be considered in the differential diagnosis of spinal intramedullary/extramedullary lesions. Surgical treatment is recommended in patients with extensive lesions showing progressive neurological deficits. Medical treatment may be recommended in patients with early neurological symptoms under surveillance as surgical intervention may be required in case of neurological deterioration or failure of medical therapy.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest

 
   References Top

1.
Murthy JM, Raja Reddy D, Reddy PK. Intramedullary cysticercosis. Neurol India 1988;36:316.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Agrawal R, Chauhan SP, Misra V, Singh PA, Gopal NN. Focal spinal intramedullary cysticercosis. Acta Biomed 2008;79:39 41.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Singh NN, Verma R, Pankaj BK, Misra S. Cauda conus syndrome resulting from neurocysticercosis. Neurol India 2003;51:118 20.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Singh P, Sahai K. Intramedullary cysticercosis. Neurol India 2004;52:264 5.  Back to cited text no. 4
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
5.
Flisser A. Taeniasis and cysticercosis and to Taenia solium. In: Sun T, editor. Progress in Clinical Parasitology. Vol. 4. Florida: CRC Press; 1994. p. 77 116.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Kasliwal MK, Gupta DK, Suri V, Sharma BS, Garg A. Isolated spinal neurocysticercosis with clinical pleomorphism. Turk Neurosurg 2008;18:294 7.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Holtzman RN, Hughes JE, Sachdev RK, Jarenwattananon A. Intramedullary cysticercosis. Surg Neurol 1986;26:187 91.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Sotelo J, Marin C. Hydrocephalus secondary to cysticercotic arachnoiditis. A long term follow up review of 92 cases. J Neurosurg 1987;66:686 9.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Garcia HH, Gilman R, Martinez M, Tsang VC, Pilcher JB, Herrera G, et al. Cysticercosis as a major cause of epilepsy in Peru. The Cysticercosis Working Group in Peru (CWG). Lancet 1993;341:197 200.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Parmar H, Shah J, Patwardhan V, Patankar T, Patkar D, Muzumdar D, et al. MR imaging in intramedullary cysticercosis. Neuroradiology 2001;43:961 7.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Mathuriya SN, Khosla VK, Vasishta RK, Tewari MK, Pathak A, Prabhakar S. Intramedullary cysticercosis: MRI diagnosis. Neurol India 2001;49:71 4.  Back to cited text no. 11
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
12.
Qi B, Ge P, Yang H, Bi C, Li Y. Spinal intramedullary cysticercosis: A case report and literature review. Int J Med Sci 2011;8:420 3.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Ahmad FU, Sharma BS. Treatment of intramedullary spinal cysticercosis: Report of two cases and review of literature. Surg Neurol 2007;67:74 7.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.
Mohanty A, Venkatrama SK, Das S. Spinal intramedullary cysticercosis. Neurosurgery 1997;40:82 7.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
15.
Sharma BS, Banerjee AK, Kak VK. Intramedullary spinal cysticercosis. Case report and review of literature. Clin Neurol Neurosurg 1987;89:111 6.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
16.
García HH, Evans CA, Nash TE, Takayanagui OM, White AC Jr., Botero D, et al. Current consensus guidelines for treatment of neurocysticercosis. Clin Microbiol Rev 2002;15:747 56.  Back to cited text no. 16
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]



 

Top
  
 
  Search
 
    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

 
  In this article
    Abstract
   Introduction
   Case Reports
   Discussion
   Conclusion
    References
    Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    Viewed638    
    Printed0    
    Emailed0    
    PDF Downloaded10    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal