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Pediatr Neurol. 2002 Feb;26(2):153-6.

Pediatric granulomatous cerebral amebiasis: a delayed diagnosis.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Hospital Nacional de PediatrĂ­a, Prof. Dr. J. P. Garrahan, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


We present four cases of cerebral amebae infection treated at our neurosurgical department. Patient 1 was a 12-year-old male with skin lesions of 2 years' progression involving the midface. He received a corticosteroid course, and, after that, he presented a right body hemiparesis. Patient 2 was a 5-year-old male, with a past surgical history of fibula fracture and osteomyelitis of 1-year evolution, associated with lesions of the surrounding skin that presented with partial seizures. Patient 3 was a 3-year-old female who presented with a stroke-like episode and with partial seizures. Patient 4 was a 6-year-old male who had ulcerative lesions in the face of 1-year evolution. After a corticosteroid course, he presented with right-body hemiparesis. All patients were human immunodeficiency virus-negative and died 1 month or less after surgery because of progressive evolution of the disease. Histopathology revealed granulomatous amebic encephalitis. All patients revealed infection from Balamuthia mandrillaris (Leptomyxiidae). Treatment consisting of pentamidine, clarithromycin, fluconazole, and 5-fluorocytosine was ineffective. Although extremely uncommon, granulomatous amebic encephalitis should be considered in the differential diagnosis of cerebral lesions while nonspecific, associated granulomatous skin lesions support the diagnosis of amebiasis.

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