Cysticercosis : Symptoms & Signs, Diagnosis & Tests

Symptoms & Signs

Most often, the worms stay in muscles and do not cause symptoms.

Symptoms that do occur depend on where the infection is found:

  • Brain lesions can result in seizures or symptoms similar to those of a brain tumor.
  • Eye lesions can cause decreased vision or blindness.
  • Heart lesions can lead to abnormal heart rhythms or heart failure (rare).
  • Spine lesions can lead to weakness or changes in walking.

Diagnosis & Tests

Tests that may be done include:

  • Blood tests to detect antibodies to the parasite
  • Biopsy of the affected area
  • CT scan, MRI scan, or x-rays to detect the lesion
  • Spinal tap (lumbar puncture)


Review Date : 9/1/2008
Reviewed By : Linda Vorvick, MD, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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