Cerebral sparganosis presenting with atypical postcontrast magnetic resonance imaging findings: a case report and literature review.BMC Infect Dis 2019; 19(1):748BI
Sparganosis, a rare and severe parasitic infection caused by the larvae of Spirometra species or simply sparganum, generally involves subcutaneous tissue or muscle. But occasionally, sparganum can also invade the human brain, resulting in cerebral sparganosis.
A 33-year-old woman presented with a 10-day history of headache. Postcontrast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed an irregular lesion with enhancement and the tunnel-shaped focus extending to the contralateral hemiphere. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis disclosed pleocytosis (166 cells/μL) and an elevated protein concentration (0.742 g/L). Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) revealed positive sparganum-specific antibody in both blood and CSF. Finally, the diagnosis of cerebral sparganosis was comfirmed. She received praziquantel treatment and got a favorable outcome during six-month follow-up.
Irregular enhancement and the tunnel sign that extends to the contralateral hemisphere on postconstrast MRI are unusual presentations of cerebral sparganosis. ELISA for sparganum-specific antibody can help confirm the diagnosis. Although surgery is the preferred treatment for cerebral sparganosis, praziquantel might also achieve satisfying outcomes.