Cardiac hydatid cysts are extremely rare and, although patients may remain asymptomatic for many years or have only minor nonspecific symptoms, they are associated with life-threatening complications. We report the case of a 32-year-old woman with an acute arterial embolism caused by a ruptured hydatid cyst in the heart. An emergency operation revealed that the embolism originated from the left cardiac chamber caused by a cyst in the left ventricle. There were also three cystic lesions in the right lung. The patient underwent surgery to remove the hydatid cysts from the right lung on the 13th day after the first operation. Her postoperative course was uneventful and she was discharged from hospital on the 27th day after admission.