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Recurrent Pulmonary Embolism Due to Echinococcosis Secondary to Hepatic Surgery for Hydatid Cysts

Damiani, Mario Francesco MD; Carratù, Pierluigi MD, PhD; Tatò, Ilaria MD; Vizzino, Heleanna MD; Florio, Carlo MD; Resta, Onofrio MD

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: September/October 2012 - Volume 36 - Issue 5 - p 534–535
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e318264e618
Thoracic Imaging

We describe the case of a 53-year-old man with recurrent pulmonary embolism due to intra-arterial cysts from Echinococcus. Both the patient’s medical history and the computed tomographic (CT) scan abnormalities led to the diagnosis. The CT scan, performed during hospitalization in our ward, showed cystic masses in the left main pulmonary artery and in the descending branch of the right pulmonary artery. Within cystic masses, thin septa were visible, giving a chambered appearance, which was suggestive of a group of daughter cysts. In the past, our patient underwent multiple operations for recurring echinococcal cysts of the liver. After the last intervention, 4 years earlier, his postoperative course was complicated by pulmonary embolism: a CT scan showed a filling defect in the descending branch of the right pulmonary artery, which was caused by the same cystic mass as 4 years later, although smaller. This mass, not properly treated, increased in diameter. Moreover, after 4 years, there has been a new episode of embolism, which involved the left main pulmonary artery. This is the first case in which there are repeated episodes of pulmonary embolism echinococcosis after hepatic surgery for removal of hydatid cysts.

From the *Institute of Pulmonary Disease, University of Bari, Bari, Italy; †Medica Sud, Bari, Italy; and ‡Istituto Tumori “Giovanni Paolo II”, Bari, Italy.

Received for publication June 1, 2012; accepted June 15, 2012.

Reprints: Mario Francesco Damiani, p.zza G. Cesare n.31 Bari, Italy (e-mail:

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.