Angiostrongylus cantonensis eosinophilic meningitis: a clinical study of 42 consecutive cases in French Polynesia.Parasitol Int. 2014 Jun; 63(3):544-9.PI
In endemic areas, eosinophilic meningitis is mainly caused by Angiostrongylus cantonensis. We describe a series of this poorly-known condition.
Retrospective cohort study (2000-2012) including all patients diagnosed with eosinophilic meningitis in French Polynesia.
Forty-two patients (males: 61.9%, age: 22 (IQR 17-32)) were diagnosed with a serologically proven (n=13) or probable A. cantonensis meningitis, mostly during the dry season (66.6%) and following the consumption of or prolonged contact with an intermediate/paratenic host (64.3%). No differential diagnosis was found in probable cases, in whom serological tests were performed earlier (7.5 days (6.5-10)) compared to positive patients (7.5 (6.5-10) versus 11 (7-30) days, p=0.02). The most commonly reported symptom was headache (92.8%). Fever (7.1%) and biological inflammatory syndrome (14.3%) were rare. Blood eosinophil count was 1200/mm(3) (900-2548). Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis disclosed a protein level of 0.9 g/L (0.7-1.1), a CSF/plasma glucose ratio of 0.50 (0.40-0.55), and 500 leucocytes/mm(3) (292-725; eosinophils: 42.0% (29.5-60); lymphocytes: 46.5% (32.5-59.0)). Thirteen cases (31.0%) were severe, with 11 focal neurological deficits. A delayed hospital referral (OR 1.13, p=0.05) was associated with severity.
A. cantonensis meningitis must be evocated in young patients with meningitic syndrome, severe headache, and CSF inflammation with predominance of eosinophils.