Neurocysticercosis, one of the most common parasitic infections of the human nervous system, has emerged as an important infection in the United States. Neurocysticercosis causes significant morbidity associated with acute seizures, chronic epilepsy, and hydrocephalus.We retrospectively identified patients with definitive or probable neurocysticercosis seen at Ben Taub General Hospital, the largest public teaching hospital in Houston, Texas, from September 1997 through December 2005. We collected demographic, clinical, therapeutic, and outcome variables. Neurocysticercosis was classified according to the location of cysts in imaging studies. We compared cases with parenchymal and extraparenchymal disease.We included 111 patients (48 had definitive and 63 probable neurocysticercosis). The mean age was 28.6 years (standard deviation, 13.6 yr), and the male to female ratio was 2:1. Most patients (93%) were Hispanic immigrants. Sixty (54%) patients had parenchymal disease, 22 (20%) intraventricular, 13 (12%) subarachnoid disease, and 13 (12%) had calcifications only. Additionally, 2 patients had hydrocephalus only, and 1 had ocular cysticercosis. Thirteen (40%) of 32 patients with parenchymal disease and 3 (30%) of 10 patients with calcifications had relapsed seizures at follow-up. Extraparenchymal disease was associated with longer duration of hospitalization compared with parenchymal disease. No deaths were identified in our series during a median follow-up of 1 year.Neurocysticercosis has emerged as an important parasitic infection in developed countries as a result of increased migration. With current management, mortality is limited, but there continues to be significant morbidity. Further studies of the epidemiology and pathophysiology of the infection are urgently needed to develop better preventive and therapeutic strategies.
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