Cysticercosis involving the CNS is not an uncommon disease. It develops due to a parasite, Taenia solium, found in the undercooked meat. Well, they don’t say “Cook It Properly” for no reason. Do they?
A 10 year old girl showed up at the hospital and reported a 10 days history of fever and vomiting. She also notified that her fever was high grade and associated with chills.
General physical examination revealed a dull posture and a pulse rate of 100/min. CNS examination rolled in a mild neck stiffness, not very remarkable. A peripheral blood smear indicated microcytic hypochromic anemia (an anemia in which the red blood cells are smaller than the usual) and her fundus examination came out to be normal.
The patient got admitted and received antibiotics as a treatment. She recovered and got discharged from the hospital very soon.
Beef Intake leads To Cysticercosis
Fifteen days after the discharge, the patient presented again with a complaint of diplopia and headache. Some careful digging revealed a 3 years history of beef intake. However, she took her last beef meal 2 months earlier to her presentation.
Examination of her eye showed a well-defined lesion of 0.5 cm in the anterior chamber. In addition, fundus examination indicated a mild papilledema. Surprisingly, MRI of the brain indicated multiple lesions in thalamus and brain’s subcortical regions.
Diagnosis And Treatment
Doctors diagnosed the patient having a Cysticercosis that had spread to multiple areas in her brain and eyes. They started her treatment with prednisolone after which she had her ocular cyst removed surgically. Furthermore, the doctors kept her on Albendazole 15mg/kg/day for around 28 days. Good news, she is asymptomatic now although doctors often call her for follow up sessions. Not a big deal, Right?