Echinococcosis, an endemic disease on the Asian continent, is caused by the tapeworm Tenia Echinococcus, which produces cysts in the liver and other organs. I reviewed 157 patients with hydatid disease of the liver. The hydatid cysts were single in 125 patients and predominantly in the right lobe, but multiple in 31 patients, localized in both lobes or in the lung, spleen, pancreas, heart, or peritoneum. In 14 patients, early complications were manifested by rupture of the cyst into the biliary tract, the lung, or the peritoneum. Infection of the cysts was rare. Late postsurgical complications, noted in 10, were the development of an abscess or cirrhosis. I evaluated the importance of computed tomography (CT) in the diagnosis of hydatidosis of the liver and other visceral organs: It made a correct and accurate diagnosis in 96% of 157 patients. But, in ruptured or infected cysts, CT scans could not distinguish between a hydatid cyst and an abscess. Surgery is still the treatment of choice in hydatid disease. It is absolutely indicated in complicated cases, and is easy and curative in uncomplicated ones. I have used Mebendazole in 18 patients for 2 years without significant benefit, except in two patients with disseminated hydatidosis. Mebendazole stabilized the disease.
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