Home About us Editorial board Search Ahead of print Current issue Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 
Print this page Email this page Users Online: 268

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 267-269

Intramedullary cysticercosis

1 Department of Radiodiagnosis, Gandhi Medical College, Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of Neurosurgery, Gandhi Medical College, Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

Date of Submission24-Mar-2014
Date of Acceptance22-Jun-2016
Date of Web Publication6-Jan-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. J Suneeth
Assistant Professor, Dept of Radiodiagnosis, ESIC Medical College, Hyderabad, Telangana- 500082.
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


Rights and Permissions

Neurocysticercosis is one of the most common parasitic diseases of the central nervous system. However, spinal involvement is rare. Here, we report the case of a 28-year-old man with intramedullary cysticercosis in the cervical spinal cord. Magnetic resonance imaging of the cervical spine with contrast showed a well-defined, peripherally enhancing intramedullary cyst at C3 spinal cord level producing significant perilesional edema with expansion of the cord. Because the patient had progressive neurological deficits, surgery was performed. Pathological examination of the removed lesion proved it to be cysticercosis..

Keywords: Cysticercosis, intramedullary, spinal cord

How to cite this article:
Suneeth J, Moorthy NL, Rao GP, Chander DM, Kumar N A. Intramedullary cysticercosis. J NTR Univ Health Sci 2020;9:267-9

How to cite this URL:
Suneeth J, Moorthy NL, Rao GP, Chander DM, Kumar N A. Intramedullary cysticercosis. J NTR Univ Health Sci [serial online] 2020 [cited 2022 Nov 30];9:267-9. Available from: https://www.jdrntruhs.org/text.asp?2020/9/4/267/306131

  Introduction Top

Taenia solium is the most common parasite causing central nervous system infections. However, spinal cysticercosis is rare, representing 1.2 to 5.8% of all cases of neurocysticercosis. It has been classified based on its location in the spine as extraspinal (vertebral) or intraspinal (epidural, subdural, arachnoid, or intramedullary). Among these, the intramedullary type is quite rare, with only 53 cases reported until 2010. Here, we report a case of intramedullary cysticercosis at the C3 vertebral level.

  Case Report Top

A 28-year-old man presented with chief complaints of neck pain since 2 years, difficulty in walking since 1 year, weakness since 6 months, and urinary incontinence since 3 months. On examination, he had spasticity in both upper and lower limbs with power 3/5.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the cervical spine with contrast showed a well-defined peripherally enhancing intramedullary cystic lesion, hypointense on T1-weighted images (WI) and hyperintense on T2WI, of size 10 × 10 mm at the C3 spinal cord level producing significant perilesional edema with expansion of the cord [Figure 1],[Figure 2],[Figure 3],[Figure 4].
Figure 1: Sagittal magnetic resonance T1-weighted image showing intramedullary hypointense lesion at C3 level

Click here to view
Figure 2: Sagittal magnetic resonance T2-weighted showing hyperintense lesion at C3 level

Click here to view
Figure 3: Coronal magnetic resonance T2-weighted showing lobulated morphology of the lesion

Click here to view
Figure 4: Sagittal post contrast T1-weighted image showing peripheral enhancement of the lesion

Click here to view

On surgery, the cyst was moderately vascular grayish in colour with calcification. Pathological examination revealed bits of tissue containing fibrocollagenous tissue with dense collections of lymphocytes, plasma cells, and eosinophils; cyst cavity contained the cut section of the cysticercous body cavity.

  Discussion Top

Involvement of spinal cord is a rare presentation of cysticercosis in endemic regions, with only 53 cases reported until 2010.[1] Though the common site of involvement is thoracic cord, it can also involve cervical and lumbar cords. The involvement of spinal cord is either by blood circulation or via ventriculo ependymal pathway.[2]

The clinical features[3] include pain, spasticity, paraplegia, incontinence of bladder and bowel, etc.


On MRI, intramedullary cysticercosis shows the presence of a cyst which is hypointense on T1WI, hyperintense on T2WI (vesicular stage),[2] and hyperintense on T1WI and hypointense on T2WI (colloidal stage).[2] There can be peripheral enhancement,[4],[5] if cyst shows degeneration. Scolex within the cyst appears hyperintense on T1WI, and if present is diagnostic of the condition.

Differential diagnosis

Ependymal cyst, arachnoid cyst, neurenteric cyst, sarcoidosis, ependymoma, abscess. When a patient from an endemic area with a diagnosis of cysticercosis elsewhere presents with spinal cord cystic lesion, cysticercosis should be strongly suspected.

Although preoperative albendazole is an effective method of treatment, surgery was performed in the present case due to progressive neurological deficits.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form the patient(s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Kumar S, Handa A, Chavda S, Tiwari R, Abbey P. Intramedullary cysticercosis. J Clin Neurosci 2010;17:522-3.  Back to cited text no. 1
Qi B, Ge P, Yang H, Bi C, Li Y. Spinal Intramedullary Cysticercosis: A Case Report and Literature Review. Int J Med 2011;8:420-3.  Back to cited text no. 2
Sharma BS, Banerjee AK, Kak VK. Intramedullary spinal cysticercosis: Case report and review of literature. Clin Neurol Neurosurg 1987;89:111-6.  Back to cited text no. 3
Mathuriya SN, Khosla VK, Vasishta RK, Tewari MK, Pathak A, Prabhakar S. Intramedullary cysticercosis : MRI diagnosis. Neurology India 2001; 49:71-4.  Back to cited text no. 4
Parmar H, Shah J, Patwardhan V, Patankar T, Patkar D, Muzumdar D, et al. MR imaging in intramedullary cysticercosis. Neuroradiology2001;43:961-7.  Back to cited text no. 5


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]

This article has been cited by
1 Neuropsychiatric manifestations associated with neurocysticercosis
JamirP Rissardo, AnaL Fornari Caprara
Journal of Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences. 2022; 11(2): 159
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

  In this article
Case Report
Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded97    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 1    

Recommend this journal