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Solitary cysticercus granuloma. The disappearing lesion

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    Solitary cysticercus granuloma. The disappearing lesion Edited by:vedantam rajshekhar and mathew j chandy. (Pp 169, £9.95). 2000. London: Sangam Books. ISBN 0 86311 815 1.

    Cysticercosis (Taenia solium) is the commonest parasitic disease of the central nervous system. The infestation is endemic in several countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Epilepsy is by far the most common clinical manifestation and in endemic areas it is the commonest cause of seizures in adults.

    This is an excellent monogram with authors who are very experienced in dealing with cysticercosis. The “disappearing lesions” is a term which was introduced from India and the authors go into the aetiology, clinical manifestations, and medical and surgical treatment as well as antiepileptic drug therapy of patients with a single solitary granuloma. The illustrations are excellent and both CT and MRI are well explained and quite clear.

    The book is divided into 13 chapters, all the chapters except one are written by authors from the same institute in India. The lack of detailed immunological background to cysticercosis and the possible biological features that can lead to its chronicity, activation, and eventual destruction is a little dissapointing. There is one chapter on immunology but it concentrates on the value or lack thereof of immunological tests in the diagnosis of solitary granulomas due to cysticercosis. The chapter on pathology is much more oriented to histopathology rather than the molecular basis of the disease.

    The book would have benefited much from including authors from other institutions world wide. Having said that, this book remains valuable as a monogram on a common and in many cases perplexing clinical presentation.

    With modern travel, patients with cysticercosis are seen throughout the world; neurologists and neurosurgeons should be familiar with this condition to avoid unnecessary surgery.

    This book is not only valuable for those working in endemic areas but perhaps it is more valuable for those working in non-endemic areas of the world where patients present with single enhancing CT lesions and those treating them have little experience of the disease.

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