Neurocysticercosis-related seizures in the post-partum period: two cases and a review of the literature

Lancet Infect Dis. 2020 Aug;20(8):e204-e214. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30240-1. Epub 2020 Jun 19.


Neurocysticercosis, the infection of the CNS with larval cysts of Taenia solium, is a leading cause of seizures in low-income countries. The clinical presentation of neurocysticercosis is variable and depends on the number, size, and location of cysticerci, and on the immune response of the host. In most patients, the affected site is the brain parenchyma, where cysts can precipitate seizures. Neurocysticercosis has seldom been described in pregnant women. In this Grand Round, we report two cases of pregnant women who immigrated to Italy from Bolivia and Ecuador, and who developed seizures in the early post-partum period, due to calcified parenchymal neurocysticercosis lesions. We discuss the complex interactions between neurocysticercosis and the immune system in pregnancy and the post-partum period. Building on this scenario, we propose practices for the management of neurocysticercosis in pregnancy and the post-partum period, highlighting important gaps in the literature that should be addressed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use*
  • Dexamethasone / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neurocysticercosis / complications*
  • Postpartum Period
  • Seizures / drug therapy*
  • Seizures / etiology*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Dexamethasone