Intramedullary spinal cord neurocysticercosis presenting as Brown-Séquard syndrome

BMC Neurol. 2015 Jan 16:15:1. doi: 10.1186/s12883-014-0245-5.


Background: Cysticercosis is a parasitic disease caused by the larval stage of Taenia Solium. Involvement of the central nervous system by this tapeworm is endemic in developing countries. However, isolated spinal involvement by Taenia Solium is uncommon and having clinical presentation of Brown-Séquard syndrome is even rarer.

Case presentation: A 43-year-old male who came to the emergency department with clinical presentation of complete Brown-Séquard syndrome. Computed tomography scan of the brain was normal. Magnetic resonance imaging of the thoracic spine revealed an intramedullary mass of the spinal cord at C-7/T-l level. Patient underwent surgery that revealed a cystic lesion and was resected. Histopathological report confirmed the diagnosis of neurocysticercosis. Postoperatively, oral steroid therapy and a four week course of albendazol were administered.

Conclusions: Intramedullary neurcysticercosis represents a diagnostic challenge and should be considered in intramedullary lesions in settings where Taenia solium is endemic. Clinical, pathophysiological and diagnostic aspects of spinal cord intramedullary neurocysticercosis are discussed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brown-Sequard Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Brown-Sequard Syndrome / parasitology*
  • Brown-Sequard Syndrome / surgery
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neurocysticercosis / diagnosis*
  • Neurocysticercosis / surgery
  • Spinal Cord / parasitology
  • Spinal Cord / pathology
  • Spinal Cord / surgery
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / parasitology
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / pathology
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / surgery