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Neurocysticercosis in a paediatric population in Lima: an epidemiological and clinical analysis
INTRODUCTION. Neurocysticercosis (NCC) in children is a clinical entity that was believed to be infrequent but, as methods of diagnosis by means of imaging techniques and immunological tests have improved, it has become possible to confirm more cases. This disease has been reported as being most prevalent in developing countries but over the past few years there has also been an increase in the incidence in developed countries.
PATIENTS AND METHODS. We examined the clinical records of paediatric patients admitted to the Hospital Cayetano Heredia, in Lima, Peru, between 1993 and 1998. The statistical analysis was performed with the SPSS software package.
RESULTS. A sample made up of 52 patients was obtained (n= 52), of which two were excluded because they were being treated at the same time with antituberculosis and anthelmintic drugs. Of these 50 patients, 22 were males (44%) and 28 females (56%). Average age was 7.86 years old (interval: 7 months-15 years). Diagnosis was definite in 26% of them, probable in 50% and possible in the remaining 24%. 36% reported that they raised pigs at home and had travelled to endemic areas. The convulsive syndrome was the most frequent clinical presentation, followed by endocranial hypertension. The single lesions were often identified in imaging studies (64.3%). 36.8% of the patients were found to be seropositive. 90% of the patients were receiving treatment with anticonvulsive drugs and almost 70% with albendazole and corticoids. DISCUSSION. This study represents the first attempt to find out more about the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of the Peruvian infant population who are diagnosed as having NCC. The findings do not differ from those obtained in previous studies in other countries.