International Journal of Current Research and Review

DOI: 782/IICRR.2020.121824

IJCRR Section: Healthcare Sci. Journal Impact Factor: 6.1 (2018) ICV: 90.90 (2018)


BY Nc Copyright@IJCRR

Radiological Findings of Spinal Neurocysticercosis


Vasant Gawande!’, Kunal Saoji2, Ajith Nair?, Kiran Saoji‘

"Associate Professor, Department of Orthopedics Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences, Sawangi (Meghe), Wardha, MS, India; "Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopedics Datta Meghe Medical College, Shalinitai Meghe Hosp ital and Research Centre, Nagpur, MS, India; ‘Junior Res ident Department of Orthopedics Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences, Sawangi (Meghe), Wardha, MS, India; ‘Professor, Department of Orthopedics Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences, Sawangi (Meghe), Wardha, MS, India.


Introduction: Neurocysticercosis is one of the most common parasitic diseases of the CNS in which the central nervous system is involved by taenia solium. However, it is uncommon that neurocysticercosis involves the spine.

Result: Here, we reported a 35-year-old man with intramedullary cysticercosis in the thoracic spinal cord. MRI of the spine re- vealed a small (0.5x0.7cm) intramedullary lesion in the cord at the level of D8 vertebral body.

Conclusion: Since the patient had progressive neurological deficits, surgery was recommended to decompress the spinal cord. Here, we also conversed the diagnosis and management of intramedullary cysticercosis in the combination of the literature


Key Words: Intramedullary, Cysticercosis, Spinal cord


Cysticercosis is the commonest parasitic disease to affect the central nervous system (CNS). According to the review of published literature, more than 2.5 million people worldwide are infected. !

Encysted larval form of Taenia solium (Cysticerus cellulose) commonly called porcine tapeworm causes neurocysticer- cosis. The parenchyma of brain, intracranial subarachnoid space and ventricular system is involved when it affects the central nervous system.

Intraspinal cord involvement is reported in only | to 5% of patients, of which leptomeningeal involvement is more com- mon than intramedullary involvement.

Neurocysticercosis is one of the most common parasitic diseases of the CNS in which the central nervous system is involved by taenia solium. However, it is uncommon that neurocysticercosis involves the spine accounting for 1.2 % to 5.8 % of all cases of neurocysticercosis.

Based on the location of cysticercus in the spine, Cysticerco- sis has been classified anatomically as extraspinal (vertebral)

Corresponding Author:

or intraspinal (epidural, subdural, arachnoid, or intramedul- lary), among which intramedullary type is very rare.


A 35-year-old man presented with 3 episodes of seizures over 1 month. It was followed by trouble in walking associ- ated with falls which were followed by severe weakness in both lower limbs since 15 days making him confined to bed. His bladder and bowel habits were normal. He also com- plained of abnormal sensations like pins and needles in both lower limbs.

On examination, his spine was normal. The patient had spas- ticity and power of grade 2/5 in the lower limbs, wasting of lower limb muscles with hypoesthesia below T7 level, and exaggerated deep tendon reflexes in his lower limbs. Both Planters were extensors.

With these features, the patient was referred to the radiology department.

Imaging MRI of the spine revealed a small (0.5x0.7 cm)

Dr. Kunal Saoji, Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopedics, Datta Meghe Medical College, Shalinitai Meghe Hospital and Research

Centre, Nagpur, MS, India. ISSN: 2231-2196 (Print) Received: 22.07.2020

ISSN: 0975-5241 (Online) Revised: 25.08.2020

Accepted: 5.09.2020 Published: 22.09.2020

Bieta onan N E N E Se —————————— 1 Int J Cur Res Rev | Vol 12 + Issue 18 » September 2020

Gawande et al.:

intramedullary lesion in the cord at the level of D8 vertebral body.

On TIweighted image, it was isointense to CSF and on T2 it was slightly hypointense to CSF. Hyperintensity was noted in FLAIR. There was e/o a hypointensity around the lesion on T2 images suggestive of minimal oedema. Post-contrast MRI showed enhancement in the area ( Fig 1 and 2)

MRI T2 weighted image showing a ring-like lesion appearing hypo intense to CSF in the intramedullary compart- ment of thoracic cord.

MRI FLAIR showing a ring like lesion appearing hy- per intense to CSF in the intramedullary compartment of tho- racic cord.

Contrast enhanced MRI shows intensely enhancing rim like lesion in the intramedullary compartment of thoracic cord.

With this presentation, possibility of an infective aetiology such as Tuberculoma or Neurocysticercosis was considered. The MRI of the brain was performed, which revealed multi- ple small ring enhancing lesions with hole with dot appear- ance in few, thus confirming diagnosis of Neurocysticercosis

( Fig 3).

Spinal neurocysticercosis is commonly encountered in the CSF spaces surrounding the cord. This site is common in spi- nal neurocysticercosis because of dissemination of lesions from brain via CSF.?

Intramedullary NCC is an extremely rare condition. The probable etiology is hematogenous dissemination from a pri- mary source other than CNS (Fig no 1). Thoracic spine is the preferred site for intramedullary NCC due to higher blood volume in this area as compared to other spinal segments’. In present case also thoracic involvement in noted.

MR imaging of intact intramedullary cysts typically shows cystic areas within the spinal cord along with intensity of cyst fluid that is analogous to CSF on both TI- and T2- (Fig no 2) weighted images. Sometimes the scolex can be rec- ognized as a mural nodule within the cavity of cyst on TI- weighted images.

However it was not seen in the cord in our case but it was seen in the sections of brain. As in the brain, degenerating cysticercotic cysts within the spinal cord may show a sub- tle hypointense rim surrounding the intramedullary cyst on

Gawande et al.: Radiological findings of spinal neurocysticercosis

T2-weighted images and evidence of irregular peripheral en- hancement after IV gadolinium administration. Similar find- ing were found in present case also.

The differential diagnosis of a small ring enhancing area in the cord will be tuberculoma, metastasis and abscess. The closest differential diagnosis is tuberculoma, however tuber- culoma will usually have a size of 2-8mm and appear hypo- or isointensity or central hyperintensity with a hypointense rim on T2W images and isointensity and/or hypointensity on T1W images (Fig no 3).*

The other differential diagnosis includes cerebral metastasis and abscess. However cerebral metastasis appear isointense to hypointense on T1 W images and typically hyperintense on T2W images. The enhancement pattern in it can be uniform, punctate, or ring-enhancing, but it is usually intense.°

Abscess appears hypointense on TIW images and hyperin- tense on T2, but there is surrounding vasogenic edema, on T2W images it appears as surrounding hyperintensity. With

iv contrast abscess shows typical rim like enhancing pattern. 6

The CSF examination frequently shows raised proteins, a low or normal glucose level, moderate level of lympho- cytic pleocytosis and eosinophilia. ELISA or serum enzyme- linked immunoelectric transfer bolt assay helps in finding cysticercal antibodies in CSF and have good sensitivity and specificity in cysticercosis diagnosis.

Timely diagnosis and management can increase the result. Sharma reported that 60% patients acquired improvement after surgery, 25% did not improve, and 15% died’. In recent years studies, there is significant increase in results by surgi- cal management; there is no death and most of patients may possibly live devoid of special support. When in doubt surgi- cal management 1s the management of choice or else medical therapy has its benefits.

Albendazole is a drug which is effective since 1996 in pa- tients with intramedullary cysticercosis. It is thought that preoperative adjunctive treatment with albendazole helps to stabilize the lesion and thus causes a strong dissection plane during surgery. Albendazole is generally used postsurgery as

a routine therapy (15mg/kg/day) for 4 to 6 weeks, according to the idea that cysticercosis 1s a generalized disease with fo- cal manifestation. Moreover, Albendazole is often combined with corticosteroids, for the reason that its level in the blood can increase by the latter. ”'°


To conclude we suggest that neurocysticercosis should be considered in the differential diagnosis of ring lesions in- volving the cord, particularly in endemic areas.


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Int J Cur Res Rev | Vol 12 « Issue 18 - September 2020