Sparganosis Presenting as a Conus Medullaris Lesion: Case Report and Literature Review of the Spinal Sparganosis

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Abstract

Background

Sparganosis is a rare parasitic infection affecting various organs, including the central nervous system. In rare cases, sparganosis may involve the spinal cord, usually at the thoracic area. We herein report, to our knowledge, the first case of sparganosis presenting as a conus medullaris lesion and review the literature of sparganosis involving the spinal cord.

Observation

A 42-year-old man presented with progressive perianal paresthesia and sphincter disturbances. Results of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay of the cerebrospinal fluid and surgical biopsy were consistent with sparganum infection affecting the conus medullaris. We reviewed 7 other cases of spinal sparganosis.

Conclusions

Sparganosis may present as a conus medullaris lesion. This possibility should be considered when clinicians encounter patients with a conus medullaris lesion or cauda equina syndrome with uncertain diagnosis.

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