Steven Doerr, MD
Steven Doerr, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Doerr received his undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He graduated with his Medical Degree from the University Of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado in 1998 and completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine from Denver Health Medical Center in Denver, Colorado in 2002, where he also served as Chief Resident.
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
In this Article
- What is cysticercosis?
- What causes cysticercosis?
- How is cysticercosis transmitted?
- What are the symptoms of cysticercosis?
- How is cysticercosis diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for cysticercosis?
- What are the complications of cysticercosis?
- How is cysticercosis prevented?
- Cysticercosis At A Glance
What are the symptoms of cysticercosis?
The symptoms of cysticercosis may develop from several months to several years after the initial infection (incubation period). The symptoms will depend on the location and the number of cysticerci, though many individuals with cysticercosis will never develop any symptoms at all. The majority of patients with cysticercosis who present to a health-care provider have central nervous system involvement (neurocysticercosis or NCC). Symptoms of neurocysticercosis may include the following:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Vision changes
- Weakness or numbness
- Seizure (often the presenting symptom, occurs in about 70% of people with NCC)
Involvement of other body tissues may cause skeletal muscle swelling, subcutaneous cysts, and vision changes from cysts infecting the eyes.
How is cysticercosis diagnosed?
The diagnosis of cysticercosis can sometimes be difficult, and it may require a combination of tests and imaging studies to make the diagnosis. In general, however, the patient's clinical presentation along with abnormal radiographic imaging results (CT scan of the brain/MRI of the brain) lead to the diagnosis of neurocysticercosis. Pictures of the cysts in the brain can be found in the first reference listed below. Blood testing can sometimes be used as an adjunct in making the diagnosis, though it is not always helpful or accurate. These tests are usually done by specialist labs. Rarely, a biopsy from affected tissue may be needed to make the diagnosis. Stool studies are sometimes also obtained because they may contain identifiable parasite eggs.
Viewers share their comments
Find out what women really need.