Case report: human brain abscess due to a tetra-acetabulate plerocercoid metacestode (Cyclophyllidea)

Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2005 May;72(5):513-7.


A 38-year-old man living near Phnom Penh (Cambodia) was admitted to a hospital in Paris in June 2001 for a single episode of a generalized grand mal seizure. This episode was preceded by a 9-month history of headaches. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the head revealed a rounded lesion immediately ahead of the left central sulcus. The resected lesion was about 20 mm in diameter. Histologic examination revealed an elongated but unsegmented metacestode at the center of the lesion. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis was inconclusive due to formalin-based histologic processing of the tissue. Morphologic analysis based on the histologic sections revealed that the metacestode was a tetra-acetabulate plerocercoid of the order Cyclophyllidea, with a distinct rostellum and pseudosegmentation of the dorsoventrally flattened hindbody. This is the first report of a tetra-acetabulate plerocercoid from a human host and the first report of any cyclophyllidean plerocercoid from the human brain. After 6 weeks, the patient was asymptomatic, neurologic examination was normal, and the brain MRI showed only surgical cavitation. The patient returned to Cambodia.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Abscess / parasitology*
  • Brain Abscess / pathology
  • Brain Abscess / surgery
  • Cestoda / ultrastructure
  • Cestode Infections / diagnosis*
  • Cestode Infections / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male