Multidisciplinary imaging of liver hydatidosis

World J Gastroenterol. 2012 Apr 7;18(13):1438-47. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i13.1438.


Liver hydatidosis is a parasitic endemic disease affecting extensive areas in our planet, a significant stigma within medicine to manage because of its incidence, possible complications, and diagnostic involvements. The diagnosis of liver hydatidosis should be as fast as possible because of the relevant complications that may arise with disease progression, involving multiple organs and neighboring structures causing disruption, migration, contamination. The aim of this essay is to illustrate the role of imaging as ultrasonography (US), multi detector row computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the evaluation of liver hydatidosis: the diagnosis, the assessment of extension, the identification of possible complications and the monitoring the response to therapy. US is the screening method of choice. Computed tomography (CT) is indicated in cases in which US is inadequate and has high sensitivity and specificity for calcified hydatid cysts. Magnetic resonance is the best imaging procedure to demonstrate a cystic component and to show a biliary tree involvement. Diagnostic tests such as CT and MRI are mandatory in liver hydatidosis because they allow thorough knowledge regarding lesion size, location, and relations to intrahepatic vascular and biliary structures, providing useful information for effective treatment and decrease in post-operative morbidity. Hydatid disease is classified into four types on the basis of their radiologic appearance.

Keywords: Calcified cyst; Daughter cysts; Hepatic cyst; Liver hydatidosis; Pericyst.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Calcinosis / pathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Echinococcosis, Hepatic / classification
  • Echinococcosis, Hepatic / diagnostic imaging*
  • Echinococcosis, Hepatic / pathology*
  • Echinococcus / pathogenicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*
  • Ultrasonography
  • Zoonoses*