Cerebral sparganosis: case report and review of the European cases
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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.
KeywordsHuman sparganosis Cerebral sparganosis Europe Stereotactic aspiration Praziquantel
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