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Role of Immuno-Polymerase Chain Reaction (I-PCR) in Resolving Diagnostic Dilemma Between Tuberculoma and Neurocysticercosis: A Case Report

Unusual clinical course, Challenging differential diagnosis

Sonia Ahlawat, Surekha Dabla, Vinay Kumar, Machiavelli Singh, Kiran Bala, Promod K. Mehta

Centre for Biotechnology, Maharshi Dayanand University (MDU), Rohtak, Haryana, India

Am J Case Rep 2018; 19:599-603

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.908624

Available online:

Published: 2018-05-24

BACKGROUND: Tuberculoma and neurocysticercosis (NCC) often show similar clinical and neuroimaging features. Differential diagnosis of these 2 diseases is imperative, as tuberculoma is an active infection that requires immediate anti-tubercular therapy (ATT).
CASE REPORT: We present the case of a 17-year-old Indian girl with fever, severe headache, and right 6th cranial nerve palsy. Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed multiple tiny ring-enhancing lesions in bilateral cerebral parenchyma with mild perilesional edema, which were initially thought to be NCC, but subsequently were diagnosed as brain tuberculomas. Based on clinical findings, mildly increased choline/creatine ratio (1.35) with slight prominent lipid lactate peak and absence of alanine, succinate peak by magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), and the detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb)-specific early-secreted antigenic target-6 (ESAT-6, Rv3875) protein from the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) by indirect ELISA, as well as indirect immuno-PCR (I-PCR) assay, diagnosis of brain tuberculomas associated with tuberculous meningitis (TBM) was confirmed, which was followed by ATT. The patient responded well and the symptoms resolved.
CONCLUSIONS: In this case, multiple ring-enhancing lesions of the brain by MRI were diagnosed as tuberculomas associated with TBM by MRS and indirect ELISA/I-PCR method, thus resolving the diagnostic dilemma.

Keywords: Immuno-Polymerase Chain Reaction, Neurocysticercosis, tuberculoma