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Clin Med Insights Case Rep. 2011;4:63-8. doi: 10.4137/CCRep.S8020. Epub 2011 Nov 9.

Pulmonary hydatid cyst with complicating Aspergillus infection presenting as a refractory lung abscess.

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Pulmonary Fellow, St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center, Pulmonary Division, Paterson, NJ.



Hydatid disease is rare in the United States. Rarely the hydatid cyst can become infected with mycotic organisms, such as Aspergillus. We describe a young male who presents with clinical features of suppurative lung abscess whose workup diagnosed hydatid cyst complicated by Aspergillus co-infection.


A 27-year-old Peruvian male was hospitalized because of fever, chills, and productive cough of three months' duration. Clinical features were consistent with a suppurative lung abscess. Significant findings included leukocytosis with eosinophilia and a chest x-ray showing a large lingular lobe thick-walled cavity with a wavy irregular fluid level. The patient ultimately underwent surgical resection of the lingular lobe. Examination of the surgical specimen revealed the cavity to be a hydatid cyst. Histologic examination of the cyst wall showed intense inflammation and several septate hyphae of Aspergillus species. The patient recovered fully and has remained in good health.


A thick-walled cavity and a wavy meniscus constitute unusual features for an ordinary pyogenic lung abscess and suggests other possibilities. Endogenous cases of hydatid disease are uncommon in the United States, with the majority of cases occurring in immigrants. There are few published case reports describing incidental findings of Aspergillus in a hydatid cyst. The rare occurrence of such a condition can lead to a delay in diagnosis and treatment.


Aspergillus; aspergilloma; echinococcosis; hydatid cyst; lung abscess; lung cavity

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