Differentiating solitary small cysticercus granulomas and tuberculomas in patients with epilepsy

Clinical and computerized tomographic criteria

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  • 1 Department of Neurological Sciences, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India
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✓ It is commonly believed that differentiating solitary small cysticercus granulomas and small tuberculomas in patients with seizures is difficult without resorting to an excision biopsy. The aim of this study was to formulate clinical and computerized tomography (CT) criteria to distinguish these two entities in patients with epilepsy. Toward this end, clinical and CT data from six consecutive patients with histologically proven small solitary tuberculomas and 25 consecutive patients with histologically proven solitary cysticercus granulomas were compared. Evidence of raised intracranial tension and a progressive focal neurological deficit was seen only in patients with tuberculomas (two of six cases). All tuberculomas were greater than 20 mm in size and five of the six were irregular in outline. Only tuberculomas were associated with a midline shift on CT (four of six cases). All cysticercus granulomas were less than 20 mm in size and 24 (96%) of the 25 were regular in outline, conforming to one of two characteristic patterns. No cysticercus granuloma was associated with a midline shift. Based on the above clinical findings (evidence of raised intracranial tension and a progressive neurological deficit) and CT criteria (size, shape, and association with a midline shift), it is possible to separate these two entities in a majority of patients with seizures and with a single small lesion on CT.

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Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Vedantam Rajshekhar, M.Ch., Department of Neurological Sciences, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore 632004, Tamilnadu, India.
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