Acute paraplegia due to schistosomiasis: an uncommon cause in developed countries

  • Anthony ChauvinEmail author
  • Aiham Ghazali
  • Claire Le Jeunne
  • Patrick Plaisance
  • Tali Anne Szwebel
  • Nathalie Costedoat-Chalumeau
  • Frederic Beubon
  • Peggy Reiner
  • André Paugam
  • Romain Paule
Case Report


We present a case of a young African migrant from Guinea-Conakry presented to a French emergency department with burning pain in both feet for 2 days. The symptoms progressed to limb paraparesis with sphincter disorders. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan showed a hyperintense spinal cord lesion without contrast enhancement extending from the T6 vertebrae to the conus medullaris. Cerebrospinal fluid exam (CFE) showed an isolated hyperproteinorachia (0.61 g/l). Schistosomiasiss serology was positive and a rectal biopsy showed a schistosoma egg surrounded by an inflammatory reaction with granulomatosis. After steroid and antihelminthic therapy, accompanied by intensive physical therapy, the patient had an improved neurological neurological outcome.


Acute paraplegia Neuro-medullary schistosomiasis 


Authors contributions

- AC: managed the patient, wrote and designed the case report

- AG: made corrections, wrote and designed the case report

- CLJ: made corrections

- PP: made corrections

- TAS: made corrections and managed the patient

- NCC: made corrections and managed the patient

- FB and AP: performed microbiological investigations

- PR: managed the patient

- RP: managed the patient, wrote and designed the case report

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethics approval

Consent to publish was obtained from the patient.


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Copyright information

© Journal of NeuroVirology, Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony Chauvin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Aiham Ghazali
    • 2
  • Claire Le Jeunne
    • 3
  • Patrick Plaisance
    • 1
  • Tali Anne Szwebel
    • 3
  • Nathalie Costedoat-Chalumeau
    • 3
  • Frederic Beubon
    • 4
  • Peggy Reiner
    • 5
  • André Paugam
    • 6
  • Romain Paule
    • 3
  1. 1.Emergency Department, Hôpital Lariboisière, Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de ParisUniversity DiderotParisFrance
  2. 2.Emergency Department, Hôpital Bichat, Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de ParisUniversity DiderotParisFrance
  3. 3.Department of internal medicine, Hôpital Cochin, Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de ParisUniversity Paris-DescartesParisFrance
  4. 4.Department of anatomopathology, Hôpital Cochin, Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de ParisUniversity Paris-DescartesParisFrance
  5. 5.Department of Neurology, Hôpital Lariboisière, Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de ParisUniversity DiderotParisFrance
  6. 6.Department of parasitology, Hôpital Cochin, Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de ParisUniversity Paris-DescartesParisFrance

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