Hydatid disease: Radiologic and pathologic features and complications

Iván Pedrosa, Antonio Saíz, Juan Arrazola, Joaquín Ferreirós, César S. Pedrosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

604 Scopus citations


Hydatid disease primarily affects the liver and typically demonstrates characteristic imaging findings. However, there are many potential local complications (eg, intrahepatic complications, exophytic growth, transdiaphragmatic thoracic involvement, perforation into hollow viscera, peritoneal seeding, biliary communication, portal vein involvement, abdominal wall invasion). Furthermore, secondary involvement due to hematogenous dissemination may be seen in almost any anatomic location (eg, lung, kidney, spleen, bone, brain). Ultrasonography (US) is particularly useful for the detection of cystic membranes, septa, and hydatid sand. Computed tomography (CT) best demonstrates cyst wall calcification and cyst infection. CT and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging may demonstrate cyst wall defects as well as the passage of contents through a defect. Chest radiography, US, CT, and MR imaging are all useful in depicting transdiaphragmatic migration of hydatid disease. CT is the modality of choice in peritoneal seeding. US and CT demonstrate rupture in most cases that involve wide communication. Indirect signs of biliary communication include increased echogenicity at US and fluid levels and signal intensity changes at MR imaging. CT allows precise assessment of osseous lesions, whereas MR imaging is superior in demonstrating neural involvement. Familiarity with atypical manifestations of hydatid disease may be helpful in making a prompt, accurate diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)795-817
Number of pages23
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


  • Echinococcosis, **.20832
  • Liver, calcification, 761.81
  • Liver, cysts, 761.311
  • Liver, echinococcosis, 761.2083
  • Parasites, **.2083

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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