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J Child Neurol. 2000 Apr;15(4):207-13.

Clinical spectrum of 500 children with neurocysticercosis and response to albendazole therapy.

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Department of Paediatrics, Advanced Paediatric Centre, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India.


Neurocysticercosis is a major cause of neurologic illness worldwide. Its manifestations are variable, and somewhat different when it occurs in children. Controversy exists regarding anticysticercal therapy. The clinical, laboratory, and radiographic features of 500 consecutive children with neurocysticercosis were studied; the children were then followed prospectively and their response to albendazole therapy was analyzed. Diagnosis of neurocysticercosis was based primarily on neuroimaging. Computed tomographic (CT) scans, neurocysticercosis serology, chest radiographs, and Mantoux tests were done in all children, and magnetic resonance imaging scans in 10%. All children with multiple lesions, and some randomly allocated children with single, small, enhancing CT lesions received albendazole. CT scans were repeated after 3 to 6 months. There were 272 boys and 228 girls, age range 1 6/12 to 12 6/12 years. Seizures were present in 94.8% of cases; 83.7% had focal seizures. Features of raised intracranial pressure were seen in 30% of patients and focal neurodeficit in 4%. Single lesions were seen in 76% of the children, with perilesional edema in 57.4%. Thirty-four children who had multiple cysts and received albendazole underwent serial CT evaluation. Four showed disappearance of lesions and 22 had reductions in the size or number, to give an overall improvement rate of 76%. Serial CT studies were available on 176 children with single lesions, 90 of whom received albendazole. Improvement (disappearance or reduction in the size of lesions) was observed in 91% (82 of 90) of albendazole-treated children versus 85% (73 of 86) of untreated children. This difference was not significant. No significant side-effects of albendazole were reported. These data indicate that partial seizures and single parenchymal cysts are the most frequent clinical and neuroradiographic manifestations of neurocysticercosis in children. Although albendazole therapy should be considered, especially in children with multiple lesions, many children with isolated neurocysticercosis will improve without antiparasitic therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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