Learn About Cysticercosis

What is the definition of Cysticercosis?

Cysticercosis is an infection by a parasite called Taenia solium (T solium). It is a pork tapeworm that creates cysts in different areas in the body.

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What are the causes of Cysticercosis?

Cysticercosis is caused by swallowing eggs from T solium. The eggs are found in contaminated food. Autoinfection is when a person who is already infected with adult T solium swallows its eggs. This occurs due to improper hand washing after a bowel movement (fecal-oral transmission).

Risk factors include eating pork, fruits, and vegetables contaminated with T solium as a result of undercooking or improper food preparation. The disease can also be spread by contact with infected feces.

The disease is rare in the United States. It is common in many developing countries.

What are the symptoms of Cysticercosis?

Most often, the worms stay in muscles and do not cause symptoms.

Symptoms that do occur depend on where the infection is found in the body:

  • Brain -- seizures or symptoms similar to those of a brain tumor
  • Eyes -- decreased vision or blindness
  • Heart -- abnormal heart rhythms or heart failure (rare)
  • Spine -- weakness or changes in walking due to damage to nerves in the spine
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What are the current treatments for Cysticercosis?

Treatment may involve:

  • Medicines to kill the parasites, such as albendazole or praziquantel
  • Powerful anti-inflammatories (steroids) to reduce swelling

If the cyst is in the eye or brain, steroids should be started a few days before other medicines to avoid problems caused by swelling during antiparasitic treatment. Not all people benefit from antiparasitic treatment.

Sometimes, surgery may be needed to remove the infected area.

Who are the top Cysticercosis Local Doctors?
Elite
Highly rated in
16
conditions

Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia

Lima, PE 

Hector Garcia is in Lima, Peru. Garcia is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Cysticercosis. He is also highly rated in 16 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Cysticercosis, Helminthiasis, Epilepsy, and Seizures.

Elite
Highly rated in
9
conditions

Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia

Cysticercosis Unit 
Lima, LMA, PE 

Javier Bustos is in Lima, Peru. Bustos is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Cysticercosis. He is also highly rated in 9 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Cysticercosis, Helminthiasis, Epilepsy, and Seizures.

 
 
 
 
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Elite
Highly rated in
3
conditions

Instituto Nacional De Ciencias Neurológicas

Cysticercosis Unit 
Lima, LMA, PE 

Isidro Gonzales is in Lima, Peru. Gonzales is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Cysticercosis. He is also highly rated in 3 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Cysticercosis, Helminthiasis, Epilepsy, and Seizures.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Cysticercosis?

The outlook is good, unless the lesion has caused blindness, heart failure, or brain damage. These are rare complications.

What are the possible complications of Cysticercosis?

Complications may include:

  • Blindness, decreased vision
  • Heart failure or abnormal heart rhythm
  • Hydrocephalus (fluid buildup in part of the brain, often with increased pressure)
  • Seizures
When should I contact a medical professional for Cysticercosis?

If you have any symptoms of cysticercosis, contact your health care provider.

How do I prevent Cysticercosis?

Avoid unwashed foods, do not eat uncooked foods while traveling, and always wash fruits and vegetables well.

Digestive system organs
What are the latest Cysticercosis Clinical Trials?
An Open-label Non-randomized Phase IIa Trial to Evaluate Safety of Early Intervention in Asymptomatic Subarachnoid Neurocysticercosis
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Clinical, Laboratory and Imaging Features, Treatment Trends and Long Term Outcomes in Patients With Parenchymal and Extraparenchymal Neurocysticercosis-A Registry Based Study
What are the Latest Advances for Cysticercosis?
Multiple-bead assay for the differential serodiagnosis of neglected human cestodiases: Neurocysticercosis and cystic echinococcosis.
Rapid Detection of Cysticercus cellulosae by an Up-Converting Phosphor Technology-Based Lateral-Flow Assay.
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The many facets of disseminated parenchymal brain cysticercosis: A differential diagnosis with important therapeutic implications.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date : November 09, 2019
Published By : Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

White AC, Brunetti E. Cestodes. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 333.

White AC, Fischer PR. Cysticercosis. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 329.