Diagnosis and treatment experience of atypical hepatic cystic echinococcosis type 1 at a tertiary center in China

World J Gastroenterol. 2024 Feb 7;30(5):462-470. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v30.i5.462.


Background: Some hydatid cysts of cystic echinococcosis type 1 (CE1) lack well-defined cyst walls or distinctive endocysts, making them difficult to differentiate from simple hepatic cysts.

Aim: To investigate the diagnostic methods for atypical hepatic CE1 and the clinical efficacy of laparoscopic surgeries.

Methods: The clinical data of 93 patients who had a history of visiting endemic areas of CE and were diagnosed with cystic liver lesions for the first time at the People's Hospital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (China) from January 2018 to September 2023 were retrospectively analyzed. Clinical diagnoses were made based on findings from serum immunoglobulin tests for echinococcosis, routine abdominal ultrasound, high-frequency ultrasound, abdominal computed tomography (CT) scan, and laparoscopy. Subsequent to the treatments, these patients underwent reexaminations at the outpatient clinic until October 2023. The evaluations included the diagnostic precision of diverse examinations, the efficacy of surgical approaches, and the incidence of CE recurrence.

Results: All 93 patients were diagnosed with simple hepatic cysts by conventional abdominal ultrasound and abdominal CT scan. Among them, 16 patients were preoperatively diagnosed with atypical CE1, and 77 were diagnosed with simple hepatic cysts by high-frequency ultrasound. All the 16 patients preoperatively diagnosed with atypical CE1 underwent laparoscopy, of whom 14 patients were intraoperatively confirmed to have CE1, which was consistent with the postoperative pathological diagnosis, one patient was diagnosed with a mesothelial cyst of the liver, and the other was diagnosed with a hepatic cyst combined with local infection. Among the 77 patients who were preoperatively diagnosed with simple hepatic cysts, 4 received aspiration sclerotherapy of hepatic cysts, and 19 received laparoscopic fenestration. These patients were intraoperatively diagnosed with simple hepatic cysts. During the follow-up period, none of the 14 patients with CE1 experienced recurrence or implantation of hydatid scolices. One of the 77 patients was finally confirmed to have CE complicated with implantation to the right intercostal space.

Conclusion: Abdominal high-frequency ultrasound can detect CE1 hydatid cysts. The laparoscopic technique serves as a more effective diagnostic and therapeutic tool for CE.

Keywords: Color Doppler ultrasound; Hepatic cyst; Hepatic cystic echinococcosis type 1; Hepatic echinococcosis; Laparoscopy.

MeSH terms

  • China / epidemiology
  • Cysts* / diagnostic imaging
  • Cysts* / surgery
  • Echinococcosis* / diagnosis
  • Echinococcosis, Hepatic* / diagnostic imaging
  • Echinococcosis, Hepatic* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Liver Diseases*
  • Retrospective Studies

Supplementary concepts

  • Polycystic liver disease