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J Neurosurg Spine. 2008 May;8(5):490-3. doi: 10.3171/SPI/2008/8/5/490.

Disseminated intraspinal hydatid disease.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Hazrat Rasoul Hospital, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Niyayesh Street, Sattar Khan Avenue, Tehran, Iran.


Spinal echinococcosis is a rare entity, accounting for 1% of all cases of hydatid disease. The authors report the case of a 60-year-old man whom they treated for recurrent nerve root compression due to disseminated intraspinal echinococcosis (hydatid disease). Six years previously he had undergone surgery on an emergency basis at another institution after presenting with acute paraplegia due to a primary extradural hydatid cyst of the thoracic spine. Unfortunately, during surgical removal of the cysts, the echinococcosis disseminated into the spinal canal. This complication was documented by magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. In the 4 years before the authors treated him, he was hospitalized 4 times for 4 recurrences of nerve root compression. The authors treated the disseminated disease successfully with total T7-8 corpectomy, grafting with titanium cage and Texas Scottish Rite Hospital instrumentation, and long-term administration of albendazole (400 mg daily). Early diagnosis, proper utilization of MR imaging, and radical resection of diseased vertebrae and soft tissues followed by anthelmintic treatment are essential to control disseminated spinal hydatidosis and prevent recurrence.

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