Neurocysticercosis in children Clinical experience in 122 patients
Cysticercosis is the most frequent parasitic disease of the central nervous system in the world and is endemic in such developing countries as Mexico. There is insufficient information about neurocysticercosis in children. The purpose of this study was to collect information on the main social factors associated with neurocysticercosis, the clinical picture, diagnosis and treatment, and the final outcome in 122 Mexican children. The ages of the patients ranged from 14 months to 17 years, with a mean of 8 years; 51 male (41.8%) and 71 female (51.8%) patients were seen; half of these patients (61) lived in well-urbanized areas; the parents of 77 families (57.3%) had only an elementary school grade average, and 46 (37.7%) lived in close proximity to animals. The most common features were seizures, intracranial hypertension and learning disabilities. The diagnosis of neurocysticercosis was supported by computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging studies and cerebrospinal fluid analysis. The treatment was varied, with anticonvulsives, steroids, and albendazole, and only 8 patients underwent ventriculo-peritoneal shunts for hydrocephalus. The follow-up ranged from 6 months to 5 years; 90 patients became asymptomatic; 6 developed refractory epilepsy; 14, learning disabilities; and 10, a chronic type of the disease with repeated episodes of intracranial hypertension; 2 died because of chronic arachnoiditis.
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