Background: We compared the imaging findings in patients with alveolar liver echinococcosis using ultrasound (US), computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in a prospective study.
Patients and methods: 30 patients with alveolar echinococcosis (AE) were examined with the above imaging techniques.
Results: 30 lesions were detected with all three methods and most lesions (n = 55) were detected with CT. Calcifications were seen in 15 lesions with US, in 21 with CT and in 16 with MRI. MRI best detected necrotic areas and multivesicuLar structures.
Conclusion: US is the screening method of choice and should primarily be complemented by CT due to its ability to detect the greatest number of lesions and clear demarcation of the characteristic calcifications. MRI may facilitate the diagnosis in uncertain cases with noncalcified or partially calcified lesions by showing the characteristic multivesicular structure, necrotic areas and proximity to vascular structures.