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J Clin Transl Hepatol. 2016 Mar 28;4(1):39-46. doi: 10.14218/JCTH.2015.00036. Epub 2016 Mar 15.

Hepatic Echinococcal Cysts: A Review.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology-Hepatology, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT, USA.
Department of Radiology, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT, USA.


Cystic echinococcosis (CE) is a widely endemic helminthic disease caused by infection with metacestodes (larval stage) of the Echinococcus granulosus tapeworm. E. granulosus are common parasites in certain parts of the world, and are present on every continent with the exception of Antarctica. As a result, a large number of people are affected by CE. The increased emigration of populations from endemic areas where prevalence rates are as high as 5-10% and the relatively quiescent clinical course of CE pose challenges for accurate and timely diagnoses. Upon infection with CE, cyst formation mainly occurs in the liver (70%). Diagnosis involves serum serologic testing for antibodies against hydatid antigens, but preferably with imaging by ultrasound or CT/MRI. Treatment methods include chemotherapy with benzimidazole carbamates and/or surgical approaches, including percutaneous aspiration injection and reaspiration. The success of these methods is influenced by the stage and location of hepatic cysts. However, CE can be clinically silent, and has a high risk for recurrence. It is important to consider the echinococcal parasite in the differential diagnosis of liver cystic lesions, especially in patients of foreign origin, and to perform appropriate long-term follow-ups. The aim of this review is to highlight the epidemiology, natural history, diagnostic methods, and treatment of liver disease caused by E. granulosus.


Anaphylaxis; Echinococcus; Hydatid cyst; Tapeworm

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