[Headache after a stay in the Dominican Republic].Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 2006 Jul 28; 131(30):1656-9.DM
In a 27-year-old female German patient severe headache and wandering paresthesias appeared one week after returning from a holiday in the Dominican Republic. After 3 weeks of ongoing symptoms she was admitted to our hospital with the suspicion of an inflammatory or infectious disease of the central nervous system. Upon admission slight stiffness of the neck, fever (38.2 C) and paresthesias of the right elbow and the right thigh were noticed.
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) revealed an eosinophilic pleocytosis. In the acute phase of the disease, antibodies against nematodes were found in CSF, without corresponding antibody-reactivity in serum. In the course levels of nematode antibodies in CSF increased and antibody-reactivity in serum was observed. Thorough investigation for other infectious or inflammatory causes of eosinophilic meningitis revealed no abnormalities.
DIAGNOSIS, TREATMENT AND COURSE
Symptoms, onset within the typical incubation period and the eosinophilic meningitis lead to the diagnosis of a suspected Angiostrongyliasis. Successful treatment was achieved with a combination of oral albendazole and corticosteroids given for 4 weeks.
Infection with larvae of Angiostrongylus cantonensis is one of the main causes of eosinophilic meningitis worldwide. Human infection can occur after ingestion of intermediate hosts or contaminated vegetables. Angiostrongyliasis has been endemic to Southeast Asia and the Pacific Basin and only recently cases from the Caribbean have been described. Headache, paresthesias and the finding of an eosinophilic meningitis in patients returning from tropical or subtropical regions should lead to the suspicion and eventually the treatment of an Angiostrongyliasis.