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Albendazole therapy for single small enhancing CT lesions (SSECTL) in the brain in epilepsy


Background: Single small enhancing CT lesions (SSECTL) of the brain with or without perifocal oedema are common in patients with symptomatic epilepsy in India. Solitary cysticercus granuloma, a benign form of parenchymal neurocysticercosis, is considered to be the most common aetiology for SSECTL. Definite information is lacking regarding the effectiveness of antiparasitic treatment on resolution of these lesions and on long term seizure recurrence.

Objective: To evaluate the response to albendazole treatment in patients who had SSECTL and new onset seizures treated with antiepileptic drugs (AED) in a prospective clinical trial.

Methods: 43 patients who presented with new onset seizures and were documented to have SSECTL were alternatively allocated to receive albendazole 15 mg/kg/day for 2 weeks or no cysticidal therapy. All patients were treated with AED and followed for at least 6 months for seizure recurrence, and serial CT scans were obtained at 4 weeks, 3 months and at study completion.

Results: 28 (65%) patients were aged 5–25 years and 31 (72%) presented clinically with partial motor seizures with or without generalisation. Most of the SSECTL were ring lesions (75%) and located in and around the sensory–motor cortex at the gray–white junction (65%). In the albendazole group, 56% of patients compared with 35% in the control group showed resolution of SSECTL (p = 0.154) at 1 month. 22 of 23 patients (95.6%), who received albendazole, compared with 14 of 20 patients (70%) in the control group, demonstrated radiological resolution on study completion (p = 0.03). Punctate residual calcification and seizure recurrence were observed in four patients (9.3%) in the control group and in three (7%) patients in the albendazole group (p = 0.47).

Conclusions: In patients presenting with seizures due to single viable parenchymal neurocysticercosis, albendazole hastens the resolution of SSECTL if treatment is given in the early phase of the illness.

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