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Lancet Infect Dis. 2018 Nov 16. pii: S1473-3099(18)30434-1. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(18)30434-1. [Epub ahead of print]

Severe CNS angiostrongyliasis in a young marine: a case report and literature review.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine, Naval Medical Center San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA.
2
Department of Internal Medicine, Scripps Green Hospital, La Jolla, CA, USA.
3
Department of Infectious Diseases, Naval Medical Center San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA.
4
Department of Radiology, Naval Medical Center San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA.
5
Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Okinawa Chubu Hospital, Okinawa, Japan.
6
Department of Microbiology, Tokyo Medical University Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.
7
Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care, Naval Medical Center San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA.
8
Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care, Naval Medical Center San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA. Electronic address: charles.g.volk.mil@mail.mil.

Abstract

Angiostrongylus cantonensis is the most common cause of eosinophilic meningitis worldwide. Infection typically occurs through ingestion of undercooked molluscs or vegetables contaminated by infective larvae. Endemic regions were previously limited to southeast Asia and the Pacific basin; however, this parasite is seeing an alarming increase in global distribution with reported cases in more than 30 countries, including several states in the USA. Although infection typically results in meningitis, a broad spectrum of CNS involvement and severity is emerging as diagnostic methods (such as real-time PCR) continue to improve diagnosis. In this Grand Round, we report a case of a 20-year-old active duty US marine serving in Okinawa, Japan, afflicted with severe CNS angiostrongyliasis marked by radiculomyelitis with quadriparesis, hyperaesthesia, and urinary retention. We present this case to highlight that no clear guidelines exist for the treatment of severe CNS angiostrongyliasis and provide our consensus recommendation that treatment algorithms include use of dual corticosteroids plus anthelmintics when radicular symptoms are present. In this Grand Round we review the clinical features, epidemiology, advances to diagnostic techniques, and available data on current treatment options for CNS angiostrongyliasis. This diagnosis should be highly considered in the differential diagnosis of a patient presenting with meningeal symptoms, paraesthesia or hyperaesthesia, and CSF eosinophilia so that treatment can be started early, which is particularly important in children, because of their increased risk of severe disease and mortality. We recommend combined therapy with albendazole and prednisolone, with consideration for increased steroid dosing in severe cases.

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