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Trends Parasitol. 2006 Sep;22(9):431-8. Epub 2006 Jul 14.

Hydatid cysts: does every picture tell a story?

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  • 1Cestode Zoonoses Research Group, School of Environment and Life Sciences, University of Salford, Salford M5 4WT, UK.


Ultrasound imaging is an effective aid to the detection of abdominal cystic echinococcosis. Recently, the images produced have provided more information than just a diagnosis. Different cyst morphologies have been classified into types, and such classifications can be considered to represent a natural history of cyst development. Understanding how cyst structures alter with time is crucial to evaluating the effectiveness of different treatment regimes and to understanding natural degeneration of cysts that can occur. However, the developmental events seen in ultrasound need to be matched more closely to immunological and cellular events if we are to have a fuller appreciation of disease progression and regression. At a community level, the relative proportions of cyst types could also provide epidemiological information on disease transmission.

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