What are the history and clinical findings of hydatid cysts of the liver?

Updated: Jun 12, 2018
  • Author: Robert E Glasgow, MD; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, DSc, MSc, AGAF  more...
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Answer

Patients with hydatid cysts, like those with simple cysts, are most often asymptomatic, but pain may develop as the cyst grows. Larger lesions typically cause pain and are more likely to develop complications than simple cysts. At presentation, patients generally have a palpable mass in the right upper quadrant.

Cyst rupture is the most serious complication of hydatid cysts. Cysts may rupture into the biliary tree, through the diaphragm into the chest, or freely into the peritoneal cavity. Rupture into the biliary tree may result in jaundice or cholangitis. Free rupture into the peritoneal cavity may cause anaphylactic shock. As with simple cysts, patients with hydatid cysts may develop secondary infection and subsequent hepatic abscesses.


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