Quick Case: Asymptomatic Conjunctival Cysticercosis

Cysticercus cellulosae is caused by the larval form of Taenia solium, or pork tapeworm. Humans can get the adult worm in the intestine by consuming pork meat that is infested with Taenia solium larva. In human cysticer¬cosis, the eyes are very often affected, but conjunctival disease is so rare and generally treated or removed as some benign cysts. It is often ignored due to hurry in eye surgery camps, OPD surgery, minor OT, etc.!

Recently, I came across two such incidences where the cysts were sent for routine histopathological examination after removal by eye surgeons. One patient was a 30-year-old non-vegetarian female, and the second one was a 56-year-old non-vegetarian male. The cysts were asymptomatic, tense, on the bulbar conjunctiva for 1-2 years, and they were related to pressure, irritation and recent redness/tenderness. They measured 1.0 to 1.2 cm in diameter. Clinically they resembled only some benign retention type of glandular cysts.

The diagnosis was confirmed only after biopsy studies. Serology was positive for teniasis, and MRI revealed neurocysticercosis!


Learning Points/Take Home Messages

Isolated conjunctival cysticercosis is not so uncommon in endemic areas of India and might be a sign of underlying neurocysticercosis; it should be strongly suspected/investigated, especially in susceptible individuals!

About The Author

Dr. Samanta, MBBS, MD is currently a consultant at EKO Diagnostic PVT. LTD. Kolkata, India for histopath, cytopath and hematology. His other interests are: oncopathology, bone marrow and neuropathology.


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