Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 217-222

Case series of eosinophilic meningoencephalitis from South India

Department of Neurology, Indo American Hospital, Brain and Spine centre, Chemmanakary PO, Vaikom, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
K Parameswaran
Indo American Hospital, Brain and Spine Centre, Chemmanakary PO, Vaikom, Kerala,
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-2327.29203

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Eosinophilic meningoencephalitis (EM) is a rare type of meningoencephalitis. The objective of this report is to describe a series of EM identified in a specific geographic area over a short period of time. Materials and Methods: This series of cases are described from a neurological center in Central Kerala occuring in the period between February 2004 and June 2006. Results: During this period we had identified ten patients (eight males and two females) with EM. Their mean age was 37.1 years (range 15-60 years). Main symptomatologies were fever, severe headache, body pain, abdominal pain and arthralgia. One patient was in akinetic rigid state with coma. All patients had peripheral eosinophilia. The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of all patients showed eosinophilic pleocytosis. The mean CSF white cell count was 588 cells. CSF differential count showed 50-70% eosinophils. CSF glucose levels were normal but proteins were markedly raised (mean CSF protein was 180 mg/dl). MRI brain showed T2 hyperintensities diffusely in periventricular white matter in the comatose patient. Contrast enhanced CT scan of the brain was normal in others. All eight male patients gave history of eating "raw flesh of Monitor Lizard" (Iguana) some three to fourteen days prior to the onset of symptoms. There was no such history for the female patients. Considering the history of exposure and eosinophilic meningitis we suspected a meningoencephalitis with Angiostrongylus cantonensis and treated them with albendazole, steroid and other supportive measures. All of them recovered. Conclusion: Eosinophilic meningitis (EM) is a rare condition and in this locality, a CNS infection with Agiostrongylus cantonensis is highly likely. AC is a parasite in monitor lizard. Human infection occurs from consumption of uncooked flesh or blood of infected lizards. Physicians need to maintain a high index of suspicion and enquire for any exposure to uncooked meat or blood of monitor lizard when faced with EM. Specific therapy with albendazole offers excellent response.

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