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Intrasellar cysticercosis: a systematic review


The objective of this study was to review patients with intrasellar cysticercosis to outline the features of this form of neurocysticercosis. A MEDLINE and manual search of patients with intrasellar cysticercosis were done. Abstracted data included clinical manifestations, neuroimaging findings, therapy, and outcome. Twenty-three patients were reviewed. Ophthalmological disturbances, including diminution of visual acuity and visual field defects following a chiasmatic pattern, were recorded in 67 % of cases. Endocrine abnormalities were found in 56 % of patients (panhypopituitarism, hyperprolactinemia, diabetes insipidus, and isolated hypothyroidism). In addition, some patients complained of seizures or chronic headaches. Neuroimaging studies showed lesions confined to the sellar region in 47 % of cases. The remaining patients also had subarachnoid cysts associated or not with hydrocephalus, parenchymal brain cysts, or parenchymal brain calcifications. Thirteen patients underwent surgical resection of the sellar cyst through a craniotomy in nine cases and by the transsphenoidal approach in four. Visual acuity or visual field defects improved in only two of these patients. Five patients were treated with cysticidal drugs without improvement. Intrasellar cysticercosis is rare and probably under-recognized. Clinical manifestations resemble those caused by pituitary tumors, cysts, or other granulomatous lesions. Neuroimaging findings are of more value when intrasellar cysts are associated with other forms of neurocysticercosis, such as basal subarachnoid cysts or hydrocephalus. Prompt surgical resection is mandatory to reduce the risk of permanent loss of visual function. There seems to be no role for cysticidal drug therapy in these cases.

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Correspondence to Oscar H. Del Brutto.

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Del Brutto, O.H., Del Brutto, V.J. Intrasellar cysticercosis: a systematic review. Acta Neurol Belg 113, 225–227 (2013).

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  • Cysticercosis
  • Neurocysticercosis
  • Intrasellar
  • Hypophysis
  • Pituitary