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Lancet. 1993 Nov 20;342(8882):1269-72.

Randomised controlled trial of efficacy of albendazole in intra-abdominal hydatid disease.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Madrid, Spain.


The efficacy of albendazole in hydatid disease is still unclear, because there has been no study that assessed the status of the parasite after treatment. The significance of albendazole-induced echographic changes in the cyst therefore cannot be judged. We did a prospective, controlled, randomised, open study of albendazole in patients with liver hydatid disease, and assessed parasite viability after treatment. 18 patients received no albendazole treatment (controls), 18 received albendazole (10 mg/kg daily) for 1 month (group A), and 19 received the drug for about 3 months (group B). Echography was done before and during treatment; all patients underwent surgery on completion. Parasite (protoscolex viability and development of cysts in mice) and ultrastructure studies were done for all cysts removed. 8 (50%) of cysts in the control group, 13 (72%) in group A, and 16 (94%) in group B were non-viable (p = 0.015). Protoscolex and cyst viability were significantly (p = 0.039 and p = 0.018, respectively) lower in treated patients than in controls. Treatment was also significantly associated with total cyst membrane disintegration. 68% of cysts treated for 3 months showed echographic changes, and only 1 of 20 cysts showing echographic changes during treatment was judged viable. The efficacy of albendazole at a dose of 10 mg/kg daily for 3 months suggests that it is a suitable alternative to surgery in uncomplicated hydatid liver disease, as initial treatment.

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