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Eur J Radiol. 2007 Jul;63(1):84-93. Epub 2007 Feb 1.

Unusual imaging characteristics of complicated hydatid disease.

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Department of Radiology, Ankara Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey.


Hydatid disease, a worldwide zoonosis, is caused by the larval stage of the Echinococcus tapeworm. Although the liver and the lungs are the most frequently involved organs in the body, hydatid cysts of other organs are unusual. Radiologically, they usually demonstrate typical imaging findings, but unusual imaging characteristics of complicated cyst of hydatid disease, associated with high morbidity and mortality, are rarely described in the literature. The purpose of this study is to review the general features of hydatidosis and to discuss atypical imaging characteristics of the complicated hydatid disease in the human, with an emphasis on structure and rupture of the cystic lesion as well as ultrasonography (USG), computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features of the disease. In our study, the available literature and images of the cases with complicated hydatidosis involving liver, lung, brain, spine and orbit were reviewed retrospectively. In hydatid disease, there are many potential local and systemic complications due to secondary involvement in almost any anatomic location in humans. Radiologically, in addition to the presence of atypical findings such as perifocal edema, non-homogenous contrast enhancement, multiplicity or septations and calcification, various unusual manifestations due to rupture or infection of the cyst have been observed in our cases with complicated hydatid disease. To prevent subsequent acute catastrophic results and the development of recurrences in various organs, it should be kept in mind that complicated hydatid cysts can cause unusual USG, CT, and MRI findings, in addition to typical ones, in endemic areas. Therefore, familiarity with atypical radiological appearances of complicated hydatid disease may be valuable in making a correct diagnosis and treatment.

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