Cerebrovascular complications of neurocysticercosis

Neurologist. 2012 Jan;18(1):17-22. doi: 10.1097/NRL.0b013e31823d7a80.


Background: It is well established that several infectious diseases can directly lead to ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke. Neurocysticercosis (NCC), caused by infection of the human central nervous system with the parasite Taenia solium, is recognized as an important public health problem in developing countries. The clinical manifestations of NCC are nonspecific and varied depending on the number and topography of lesions. Cerebrovascular disease is a relatively common but underrecognized complication of NCC; published data indicate that the incidence of stroke is between 4% and 12% in patients with NCC, depicting a clear relationship among these 2 pathologies.

Review summary: We review the cerebrovascular complications of NCC including the possible role of NCC as a cerebrovascular risk factor, including epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and management of the cerebrovascular complications derived from cysticercal infarction and those associated with the use of anticysticercal drugs. Common and uncommon clinical manifestations, localization of stroke, and associated syndromes are discussed along with their prognostic significance.

Conclusions: Although an underrecognized cause of stroke, present preponderantly in undeveloped countries, NCC still causes significant incapacity and even death in young patients suffering from stroke in the absence of cerebrovascular risk factors; hence, neurologists should become familiar with this potential complication.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiparasitic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Arteritis / etiology
  • Humans
  • Neurocysticercosis / complications*
  • Neurocysticercosis / epidemiology
  • Neurocysticercosis / physiopathology
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke / chemically induced*
  • Stroke / etiology*


  • Antiparasitic Agents