Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Neurocysticercosis: clinical, radiologic, and inflammatory differences between children and adults.

BACKGROUND: Human neurocysticercosis (NC) is caused by Taenia solium larvae lodged in the central nervous system. NC is clinically heterogeneous, ranging from asymptomatic infection to severely incapacitating and even fatal presentations. Although NC affects adults and children, age-related factors have not been thoroughly studied.

METHODS: We describe and compare the clinical, radiologic, and inflammatory features of pediatric and adult Mexican NC cases. Two hundred six NC cases (92 pediatric and 114 adult) diagnosed by computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging were included.

RESULTS: Seizures were more frequent in children (80.4% versus 56.1%), and intracranial hypertension and headaches were more frequent in adults (27.2% versus 15.2% and 35.1% versus 21.7%, respectively). Different causes underlie the different distribution of seizures and intracranial hypertension in the 2 patient groups. In pediatric NC patients, single colloidal parenchymal cysts were the most common radiologic findings compared with adults in whom multiple viable parasites in the basal subarachnoidal cisterns or in the ventricles were seen. Cerebrospinal fluid inflammation was greater in adults than in children (P = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS: This study documents significant age-related radiologic, clinical, and inflammatory differences in Mexican NC patients. Possible causes and relevance of these age-associated findings are discussed.

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