|Year : 1990 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 115-118
Cutaneous, mucocutaneous and neurocutaneous cysticercosis
PN Arora, PC Sanchetee, KR Ramakrishnan, S Venkataram
P N Arora
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Cutaneous cysticerci are often a pointer to the involvement of internal organs. A series of 33 patients including 5 vegetarians, between 10 to 48 years age, were investigated. Almost half the patients presented with cutaneous cysts of less than one month duration or were unaware of it. In the, other the duration varied upto 10 years. Cutaneous cysts were present in the case& Mental retardation, diminished vision and flashes of lights were, recorded in one case each, raised intracranial tension in 11 and seizures in 29 patients. Four, of the 6 patients with solitary cysts had no involvement of the internal- organs, whereas all the 27 patients with multiple had in nt of brain. Trunk was the commonest site in 16 patients. The other sites involved were scalp, eyelids, face, tongue neck, breast and limbs. Stool examination -for tapeworm segments/ eggs was positive in 2,calcification was seen on X-ray examination of skull in one and of soft tissues in 3, CT scan of skull was suggestive of cysticerci in 27 and skin biopsy for cysticercosis was confirmatory in all the 33 patients. Four patients with a solitary cutaneous cyst were treated by excision. One patients with neurocutaneous cysts was treated with albendazole without response. Out of 16patients with mucocutaneous and neurocutaneous cysticercosis treated with praziquantel, one did not respond. 7 responded partially and 8 had complete relief.
Keywords: Cysticercosis, Praziquantel
|How to cite this article:|
Arora P N, Sanchetee P C, Ramakrishnan K R, Venkataram S. Cutaneous, mucocutaneous and neurocutaneous cysticercosis. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 1990;56:115-8
|How to cite this URL:|
Arora P N, Sanchetee P C, Ramakrishnan K R, Venkataram S. Cutaneous, mucocutaneous and neurocutaneous cysticercosis. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol [serial online] 1990 [cited 2020 Sep 22];56:115-8. Available from: http://www.ijdvl.com/text.asp?1990/56/2/115/3496
In India, the first case of cysticercosis involving the skin was recorded by Campbell and Thomson in 1912. Earlier, in 1888, Armstrong had published the first case of cerebral cysticercosis which was followed by the report of a case of mucous membrane involvement by cysticercus. Subsequently there have been a few case reports,,,,,,, of cutaneous cysticercosis. Reddy et al reviewed biopsies of cysticercosis in 20 cases, out of which 12 were subcutaneous.
The therapy advocated for cysticercosis in the past was surgical excision irrespective of the site. We found encouraging results with praziquantel. It has not been mentioned in some of the modern text books of dermatology,, We are reporting our experience in 33 cases.
| Materials and Methods|| |
The material for this study included 33 cases of cysticercosis seen between January 1986 and June 1988. The diagnosis was confirmed by histopathology.
Detailed clinical findings of individual patients were recorded. Each patient underwent investigations like stool examination for segments or eggs of tapeworm, hemoglobin estimation, total and differential white cell count, urinalysis, radiological examination of skull and soft tissues for calcification, electroencephalographie studies (EEG), computerised tomographic (CT) scan of skull, and skin biopsy for microscopic examination. Cutaneous cysts without involvement of the internal organs were treated with excision. Cysticercosis - with involvement of internal organs were treated with praziquantel 50 mg per kg body weight per day, with a maximum of 3.0 gm daily for 15 days, or albendazole 400 mg daily for 30 days. One patient in the series died for which autopsy was performed. All the remaining patients are under follow up.
| Results|| |
The largest number (75.8%) of patients were between 21 to 40 years in age. There were 29 males and 4 females. Five patients were vegetarian. Sixteen (48.5%) patients presented with cutaneous lesions of less than one month duration, or were unaware of the cysts. The duration of cutaneous lesions in the remaining varied upto ten years. Mental retardation, diminished vision and flashes of lights were recorded in 1 (3.0%) case each, raised intracranial tension in 11 (33.3%), seizure in 29 (87.91%) and cutane ous cysts in all the 33 (100.0%). Solitary cyst was present in 6 (18.2%), 23 (69.7%) had less than 10 cysts and 4 (12.1 %) had more than 10 cutaneous cysts. Trunk was the commonest site in 16 (48.5%) patients. The other sites involved were scalp, eyelids, face, tongue, neck, breast, upper limbs and thighs. Stool examination for tapeworm segments; eggs was positive in 2 (6.0%). Radiological examination revealed calcification in of skull 1 (3.0%) and soft tissues in 3 (9.1%). EEG revealed seizure discharge in 29 (87.9%) patients, not suggestive of any specific diagnosis. CT scan of brain revealed cysticercosis in 27 (81.9%). Skin biopsy confirmed the diagnosis of cysticercosis in all the 33 (100%) patients. Autopsy of the solitary fatal case revealed multiple cysticerci in the brain and subcutaneous tissues. Four patients of cutaneous cysticercosis with no involvement of the internal organs, were treated with excision. One patient with neurocutancous cysts was treated with albendazole without any response. Out of 16 (48.5%) cases having mucocutaneous and neurocutaneous cysticercosis treated with praziquantel, 1 (3.0%) patient did not respond to the drug, 7 (2.1.2%) responded partially and 8 (24.2%) had complete relief. Three (9.1.%) patients developed recurrent seizures and raised intracranial tension and one (3.0%) developed fresh cutaneous cysts during the course of treatment. All these side effects were of transient nature.
| Comments|| |
Human cysticercosis, a potentially deadly infestation, is the consequence of ingestion of eggs of Taenia solium present in contaminated food or water or unwashed hands or by means of an autoinoculation resulting from reverse peristalsis. Cysticercosis and intestinal infestation with Taenia solium are extremely rare in developed countries. Although there are no series of cutaneous cysticercosis, yet large series of central nervous' system cysticercosis attest to its frequency in India, China, Mexico and Eastern Europe.
Cutaneous cysticercosis, often believed to be common in poor and non-vegetarians, did not appear to respect the social status in the present study. All the vegetarian patients in the present study were fond of eating raw vegetables possibly leading to ingestion of the ova.
Two patients developed central nervous system involvement after 4 to 6 months of cutaneous cysticercosis, 4 patients developed cutaneous, mucocutaneous and neurocutaneous cysts almost simultaneously and 23 developed the cutaneous lesions one month to 13 years after having developed the neurological manifestations. When man acts as the intermediate host, the larva may migrate to almost any organ and may remain viable for as long as 56 years. Clinical manifestations of neurocysticercosis recorded in the present study are well documented.  Raised intracranial tension was the cause of death in one patient.
Solitary cutaneous cysts were present in 6 patients, 4 of these had no involvement of internal organs, while 2 had associated neurccysticer cosis; whereas in all the patients with more than one cutaneous cyst, the internal organs were involved. Maximum number of cysts were present on the trunk and none on the shins, bands and feet. This appears proportional to the amount of subcutaneous tissue at the affected sites.
Investigations revealed segments/ova in the stools in only 2(6%) patients and yet clinical manifestations of abdominal discomfort, chronic indigestion, and/or diarrhoea alternating with constipation were conspicuously absent in all our cases. Eosinophilia was also not recorded even in a single patient. Radiological examination revealed calcified cysts in the skull of 1 and in the soft tissues in 3 patients. All the four patients had been harbouring cysts for more than five years. Soft tissue roentgenograms were normal in all the remaining who had been harbouring cysts for less than 5 years. Two patients of idiopathic epilepsy with no cutaneous lesions had non-specific findings on CT scans. Subsequently, when the cutaneous cysts appeared in these two patients, these confirmed the diagnosis of neurocysticercosis. Skin biopsy remains the single most important investigation to prove the diagnosis of cysticercosis.
For the treatment of taeniasis, various drugs, e g extract of male fern, mepacrine, organic tin compounds, niclosamide and paromomycin have been used with varying degrees of success. Metrifonate and albendazole have been reported effective in, cutaneous cysticercosis. We treated one patient of neurocutaneous cysticercosis with albendazole without any benefit. The therapeutic effect of praziquantel against cerebral cysticercosis were first reported by Rim from South Korea. Out of 16 patients treated with praziquantel by us, 7 patients had partial and eight had complete response in the form of disappearance of cutaneous cysticerci within 1 to 3 months and neurocysticerci in 3 to 9 months. Tests on clinical haematology and urinalysis before and after treatment in all the cases revealed no abnormality.
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