South African Medical Journal

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Neurocysticercosis in patients presenting with epilepsy at St Elizabeth’s Hospital, Lusikisiki

GS Ocana, JCO Sablon, IO Tamayo, LA Arena, LMS Ocana,, S Govender


Objective. To survey the prevalence of neurocysticercosis in patients treated for epilepsy in Lusikisiki, E Cape.

Design. This was a descriptive study. Variables considered were age, gender, symptoms and type of seizure, serological data,  electroencephalogram and computed tomography (CT) findings, treatment, and ownership of pigs. Prevalence and risk assessment were determined by statistical analysis. Subjects and setting. 113 patients presenting with epilepsy at St Elizabeth’s Hospital, Lusikisiki, E Cape.
Outcome measures. Prevalence of neurocysticercosis in patients
presenting with epilepsy.
Results. CT scans indicated that 61.1% of the patients had
neurocysticercosis-associated epilepsy, the prevalence being
highest in the 10 - 19-year-old age group (12.4% of the total).
Neuro-imaging studies showed that calcified lesions were frequent, while active lesions were often associated with positive serological results. Non-commercial pig farming was not a significant risk factor for neurocysticercosis in the sample studied.
Conclusion. Neurocysticercosis was common in patients
presenting with and undergoing treatment for epilepsy.

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