Background: Single small enhancing computerized tomographic (CT) lesions (SSECTLs) are common in children with focal seizures. These are considered to represent solitary cysticercus granulomas. Controversy exists regarding their treatment.
Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of albendazole in cases of focal seizures with SSECTLs.
Design: Randomized, placebo-controlled, double blind trial.
Setting: Pediatric service of Nehru Hospital, PGIMER, an urban tertiary care teaching hospital.
Subjects: 63 children between 2 and 12 years of age with focal seizures for <3 months and SSECTLs.
Intervention: All children were randomly assigned to receive either albendazole (15 mg/kg/ day) or placebo for 28 days. CT scan was done at 1 and 3 months after beginning treatment. Codes opened after 6 months of inclusion in the study showed that 31 had received albendazole and 32 had received placebo. All children were followed up for at least 15 months.
Results: Disappearance of lesions on CT scan was noted in 41% of albendazole vs. 16.2% of placebo patients after 1 month of follow-up (P < 0.05) and 64.5% of albendazole- vs. 37.5% of placebo-treated patients after 3 months of follow-up (P < 0.05). During the first 4 weeks of therapy seizure recurrence was seen in 9.7% of albendazole vs. 3.2% of placebo-treated children (odds ratio, 3.32; 95% confidence interval, 0.33 to 33.8). After 4 weeks seizure recurrence was seen in 31.3% of placebo-treated children vs. 12.9% of albendazole-treated children (odds ratio, 3.07; 95% confidence interval, 1.18 to 11.15).
Conclusions: Albendazole therapy results in significantly faster and increased resolution of solitary cysticercus lesions (SSECTLs) and appears to reduce the risk of late seizure recurrences.