WHILE many people avoid uncooked meat like the plague, for others eating raw food is a chosen delicacy.
But one look at these scans might be enough to put you off rare meat for life.
BMJ Case Reports Scans show how a 74-year-old man’s body, pictured here is his pelvis, was riddled with tapeworm eggs
They show how countless tapeworm eggs had burrowed into the body of a 74-year-old man, who enjoyed eating undercooked pork and beef.
He first went to doctors after suddenly being unable to walk properly and suffering from memory loss, according to an article published by BMJ Case Reports.
The pensioner was taken to the emergency department of a hospital in Taiwan and medics found his vital signs were stable.
But a physical examination showed the left hand side of his face had drooped, his speech was slurred and he was generally weak.
Shock scan results
The patient was sent for an MRI, CT scans and X-rays and doctors were horrified to discover hundreds of tiny tapeworm eggs in almost every part of his body.
Images showed the eggs were in his brain, spine, buttocks, neck, chest and legs.
Medics diagnosed him with a condition called neurocysticerosis – a tapeworm infection typically the result of eating infected pork.
It’s a preventable infection that attacks the central nervous system, according to the World Health Organisation.
The condition begins when a person ends up eating infected meat and they develop an intestinal tapeworm infection, known as taeniasis.
If left untreated, it can trigger the more serious neurocysticerosis – when tapeworm eggs built up in the patient’s central nervous system, muscles, skin and eyes.
Neurocysticerosis is the most serious form of tapeworm infection, and is a common cause of epilepsy and seizures across the world.
Dr Ming-Pin Lin, co-author of the case, said the scans had characteristic “starry sky” appearance, revealing calcification in the muscles.
He said treatment included anti-parasitic medications, steroids and a cerebral shunt to relieve pressure on the brain caused by fluid build-up.
Dr Lin said: “Patients who have not undergone treatment and who have active cysts remain at a risk of serious complications.”
It’s unclear how the man was treated or whether he made a full-recovery.
Another horrific case
Last month, it was reported that an unnamed teenager had died after tapeworm cysts had buried in his brain and left him unconscious.
The 18-year-old was suffering from violent seizures and had also been complaining of a pain in his groin over the previous week before going to doctors.
Doctors at the ESIC Medical College and Hospital in Faridabad, India, sent him for scans and found parasitic cysts buried in the outer layer of the man’s brain.
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In this case, doctors said due to the number of tapeworm cysts anti-parasitic medications typically used, weren’t an option.
With severe cases like this, the drugs can make inflammation in the brain worse, making the condition more deadly.
Instead, medics gave the man steroids and anti-epileptic drugs but he sadly died two weeks later.
BMJ Case Reports A scan of his abdominal shows an innumerable hyperdense ‘dot’ of tapeworms eggs in his para lumbar spine and buttocks
BMJ Case Reports The white dots show clusters of tapeworm eggs in the man’s brain
BMJ Case Reports This scan of his right femur shows hundreds of cysts on his right thigh
BMJ Case Reports This scan of the man’s chest shows the cysts in his neck and chest
BMJ Case Reports His left knee, seen here, was also riddled with tapeworm eggs – making it difficult to walk
BMJ Case Reports His left leg had also been infected with the parasite after eating raw meat
BMJ Case Reports An X-ray of his kidneys, ureters and bladder revealed hundreds of cysts on his gluteal (buttocks) and iliopsoas muscles
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