Acta Neurochirurgica

, Volume 157, Issue 8, pp 1339–1343 | Cite as

Cerebral sparganosis: case report and review of the European cases

  • Anna Lo Presti
  • Daniel T. Aguirre
  • Pablo De Andrés
  • Lina Daoud
  • José Fortes
  • Jesús Muñiz
Case Report - Brain Tumors


Sparganosis is a severe parasitic infection caused by the larvae of Spirometra mansoni, also called “sparganum.” In human hosts, the Spirometra mansoni larva commonly targets the subcutaneous tissue or muscle. Sometimes it can also migrate into the brain, resulting in cerebral sparganosis, mainly characterized by focal neurological symptoms such as seizures and radiological “wandering lesions” on magnetic resonance images (MRIs). Clinical cases of cerebral sparganosis have been reported worldwide, mainly in Asian countries, but also in North America, South America and Australia. Only two cases have been previously reported in Europe. A 29-year-old male from Bolivia, who lived in Spain, presented to our service for seizures and a multicystic brain lesion, initially suspected to be a dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor (DNET). He underwent gross total resection of the mixed solid/cystic lesion. Pathology revealed gliosis, multiple interconnected cystic cavities with fibrous walls, inflammatory cell infiltration and no necrotizing granulomatous reaction. Inside the cavities, a parasitic form was identified as the larva of the cestode Spirometra mansoni. At 1-year follow-up, the patient had no deficits and was seizure free. Clinicians should be alerted to the possible existence of this rare entity in Europe, especially in patients from endemic areas with a possible infection history as well as “wandering lesions” on the MRI.


Human sparganosis Cerebral sparganosis Europe Stereotactic aspiration Praziquantel 



All authors certify that they have NO affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest (such as honoraria; educational grants; participation in speakers’ bureaus; membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest; and expert testimony or patent-licensing arrangements), or non-financial interest (such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge or beliefs) in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Lo Presti
    • 1
  • Daniel T. Aguirre
    • 1
  • Pablo De Andrés
    • 1
  • Lina Daoud
    • 2
  • José Fortes
    • 2
  • Jesús Muñiz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neurosurgery, Fundación Jiménez Díaz (IIS-FJD)Autonomous UniversityMadridSpain
  2. 2.Department of Pathology, Fundación Jiménez Díaz (IIS-FJD)Autonomous UniversityMadridSpain

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