Cysticercosis in Emergency Medicine Treatment & Management

Updated: May 17, 2021
  • Author: Mityanand Ramnarine, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
  • Print

Prehospital Care

Patients present with seizure activity, altered mental status, headache, or other neurologic complaints. Prehospital treatment involves standard supportive care including ensuring that adequate airway support, oxygenation, ventilation, and perfusion are maintained. Administration of anticonvulsants may be necessary for prolonged or repeated seizure activity. Empiric naloxone may be given for coma. Hypoglycemia should be corrected.


Emergency Department Care

Secure airway, oxygenation, circulation, adequate glucose delivery, and proper monitoring.

Administer supportive care for those presenting with seizure activity.

Correct metabolic abnormalities.

Anticonvulsants are reliably effective in controlling seizures secondary to cysticercosis. Most patients will respond to first-line agents.

Steroids, osmotic agents, and/or diuretics are indicated with evidence of increased ICP.

Analgesics may be administered for pain control.

Initiate diagnostic procedures, including blood work and imaging.

Consult appropriate specialists.



Consultations may include neurosurgery, neurology, infectious diseases, and ophthalmology. Neurosurgical procedures are frequently required to relieve intracranial pressure extraparenchymal NCC or cysticercotic encephalitis. Biopsy or surgical removal of lesions may be necessary.