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Parasitol Int. 1999 Mar;48(1):81-9.

Diagnosis of human neurocysticerocosis in endemic countries: a clinical study in Honduras.

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Departamento de Microbiologia, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras, Tegucigalpa.


With the purpose of evaluating the available methodology for neurocysticercosis (NCC) diagnosis, 60 neurological patients were studied during a 4-year period in Honduras. Neurological evaluation, Computed Tomography (CT), cysticercosis Enzyme-Linked Immunoelectrotransfer blot (EITB) assay, electroencephalographic studies, and collection of epidemiological information were performed to assess a final diagnosis. The presenting clinical manifestations were: epileptic seizures (52%), headache without intracranial pressure (27%) and intracranial hypertension (10%). A protocol for the diagnosis of NCC is suggested. According to this protocol, patients with active (live) cysticercus and/or antibodies in Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were diagnosed as definitive cases of NCC, whereas those with only brain calcifications were diagnosed as probable cases. NCC diagnosis was definitive in 14 (23%) patients, probable in 32 (54%) and ruled out in 14 (23%). Of the patients with epileptic seizures, six (19%) had definitive and 20 (65%) had probable NCC. Overall seropositivity was 28%. EITB positivity varied from 14 to 100%, and from 20 to 35% in definitive and probable cases of NCC, respectively. When compared to CT, EITB overall sensitivity for definitive, active cases, was 50% in serum and 63% in CSF. These results suggest that brain images combined with neurological evaluation remains the best approach for neurocysticercosis diagnosis, and that EITB, even though its variable sensitivity, offers valuable information, especially if performed in CSF.

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