Research Article| Volume 276, ISSUE 1-2, P108-114, January 15, 2009

Randomized controlled trial of albendazole in new onset epilepsy and MRI confirmed solitary cerebral cysticercal lesion: Effect on long-term seizure outcome


      No trials to date have focused on long-term seizure outcome in solitary cerebral cysticercal lesion (SCCL), which is believed to produce a relatively benign form of epilepsy. This is a prospective randomized controlled study to evaluate the effect of Albendazole on long-term seizure outcome in patients with MRI-confirmed solitary cerebral cysticercal lesion (SCCL). One hundred and twenty-three patients with new-onset seizures and SCCL on contrast MRI were randomized to treatment with albendazole and followed for up to five years with serial MRI and clinical evaluation. At final analysis 103 patients (M-54, F-49) with a mean age of 18.6±10.7 years and follow-up period more than 12 months were included. The mean follow-up duration was 31.4±14.8 months (12–64). At one month follow-up more patients receiving albendazole were seizure-free (62% versus 49% for controls). Subsequently there was no significant difference in overall seizure outcome between the two groups. There was no correlation between seizure semiology, albendazole therapy and long-term seizure outcome. Baseline MRI showed active lesions in all; 23% remained active at 12 months with no difference between the albendazole and control groups. Patients whose lesions resolved at 12 months showed better seizure outcome. Reduction in mean cyst area was greater in the albendazole group as compared to the controls and the difference at six months was significant (p<0.05). At three months follow-up perilesional edema also resolved faster in albendazole group (p<0.05). Thus, albendazole did not alter the long-term seizure outcome in patients with SCCL and epilepsy. However, albendazole hastened resolution of SCCL on MRI, but interestingly 23% of lesions were still active 12 months after treatment.


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