Author(s): Nash TE
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Abstract Disease manifestations due to neurocysticercosis vary markedly and depend upon the location, size and number of cysts as well as the viability or degeneration of cysts and presence, type and degree of host response. Accordingly, the clinical management for each patient should be individualized. Treatment modalities include: (1) larvicidal drugs such as albendazole or praziquantel in patients with viable cysts; (2) corticosteroids or other agents to suppress or prevent the host's immune response; (3) anti-seizure medication(s) to treat or prevent recurrent seizures; (4) surgical interventions; and (5) the use of supportive family, social or health agencies in impaired individuals. Although it is known that larvicidal treatment kills viable cysts that commonly resolve or calcify, the clinical benefit of this treatment in the most common presentations is unproven. However, medical treatment of giant subarachnoid cysts, large parenchymal cysts or orbital cysts causing mass effect has led to definite clinical improvement in uncontrolled trials. Whether there is faster radiological improvement and/or clinical benefit in the treatment of cysts showing signs of inflammation by magnetic resonance imaging (enhancement and/or edema) is like-wise controversial. There is no general understanding when or how to use corticosteroids to suppress natural or treatment-induced inflammation around cysts although their use when inflammation contributes or could be expected to cause undue morbidity or mortality is reasonable. Anti-seizure medication should usually be employed in patients with seizures or patients who may likely develop seizures. Surgical intervention is required to alleviate mass effect, remove some cysts causing obstruction of the ventricles, shunt placement for hydrocephalus, and sometimes for removal and/or decompression of large or critically located cysts before larvicidal treatment.
This article was published in Acta Trop
and referenced in Epidemiology: Open Access