Volume 61, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


A 26-year-old Brazilian man was admitted to The Toronto Hospital with a headache and visual scintillation. His last travel to Brazil was five years previously. A computed tomography (CT) scan of the head showed an occipital mass with surrounding vasogenic edema. Occipital brain biopsy revealed Schistosoma mansoni eggs. The patient was treated with two doses of praziquantel (20 mg/kg) and dexamethasone (10 mg). His symptoms and occipital mass resolved. Cerebral schistosomiasis is, in part, caused by the host's inflammatory response to Schistosoma. Modes of treatment have included surgical resection, the antiparasitic drugs oxamniquine or praziquantel, and corticosteroids. Corticosteroids may diminish granulomatous inflammation, thereby preventing further tissue destruction, and there is evidence that they also reduce ova deposition. Our review of the literature supports prompt medical therapy in patients with cerebral schistosomiasis. While the minimally or asymptomatic individual may be treated with praziquantel alone, clinicians should consider adjunctive therapy with corticosteroids for patients with prominent neurologic signs or symptoms or mass lesions with evidence of surrounding edema on a CT scan or by magnetic resonance imaging.


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