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Intestinal giardiasis presenting as acute sensory ataxia
  1. Kiren George Koshy1,
  2. Saraswati Nashi1,
  3. Girish Baburao Kulkarni1,
  4. B N Nandeesh2
  1. 1Neurology, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
  2. 2Neuropathology, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Saraswati Nashi, Department of Neurology, NIMHANS, Bangalore 560029, India; nandanashi{at}

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A 20-year-old student presented with progressive swaying while walking, worse in the dark, for 2 weeks. He was a lifelong vegetarian but had no other comorbidities. There was no family history of any neurological illness. On examination, he had grossly impaired vibration and joint position sense in both lower limbs with preserved light touch, pain and temperature sensations. There were no motor or cerebellar deficits and reflexes were normal. Palpation of nerves did not reveal any thickening or nodularity. Blood investigations showed macrocytosis with a mean corpuscular volume of 117 fL, haemoglobin of 146 g/L and moderate eosinophilia (14%). Vitamin B12 levels were low (55 pg/mL) with normal folate levels. Nerve conduction studies were normal. MRI of the brain with whole spine showed T2/fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) hyperintensities in bilateral deep white matter along with T2/FLAIR hyperintensities in the posterolateral region of the thoracic cord which was suggestive of vitamin B12 deficiency (figure 1). Erythrocyte sedimentation rate was 14 mm/first hour. Fasting and postprandial sugar levels as well as glycated haemoglobin level were normal. Fasting …

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  • Contributors KGK worked up the case and wrote the report. SN was the treating neurologist and edited the manuscript. GBK contributed to case evaluation and proofreading of the manuscript. BNN reported the intestinal biopsy and wrote the pathological description.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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