Single brain enhancing lesions (SEL) are the most common presentation of neurocysticercosis (NCC) observed on neuroimaging in people presenting with epileptic seizures not only on the Indian sub-continent and in travelers returning from cysticercosis-endemic regions, but also globally. The aim of this study, which consisted of a systematic review (CRD42019087665), a meta-analysis and an expert group consultation, was to reach consensus on the best antiseizure medication and anti-inflammatory treatment for individuals with SEL NCC. Standard literature review methods were used, including the Cochrane risk of bias random effects model, meta-analyses were performed and the quality of the body of evidence was rated using GRADE tables. The expert committee included 12 gender and geographically balanced members and recommendations were reached by applying the GRADE framework for guideline development. The 1-1.5-year cumulative incidence of seizure recurrence, cyst resolution or calcification following anti-seizure medication (ASM) withdrawal was not statistically different between ASM of 6, 12 or 24 months. In contrast, in persons whose cyst calcified post treatment, longer ASM decreased seizure recurrence. The cumulative incidence ratio (CIR) 1-1.5 years after stopping ASM was 1.79 95% CI: (1.00, 3.20) for patients given 6 versus 24 months treatment. Duration of treatment had no effect on seizure recurrence in patients whose cyst did not calcify. Anti-inflammatory treatment with corticosteroids in patients treated with ASM compared to patients treated with ASM only showed a statistically significant beneficial effect on seizure reduction (CIR 0.44, 95% CI 0.23, 0.85) and cyst resolution (CIR 1.37, 95%CI: 1.07, 1.75). Our results indicate that ASM in patients with SEL NCC whose cysts resolved can be withdrawn, while patients whose cysts calcified seem to benefit from prolonged anti-seizure medication. Additional corticosteroid treatment was found to have a beneficial effect both on seizure reduction and cyst resolution.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases