What is the clinical history of cystic echinococcosis (tapeworm infestation)?

Updated: Apr 15, 2021
  • Author: Lisandro Irizarry, MD, MBA, MPH, FACEP; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
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Answer

The larvae develop into the fluid-filled hydatid cysts that are implanted after being carried in the bloodstream and expand slowly over several years.

The liver is the most common site, followed by the lungs (10-30%) (mostly the right lobe (60%) and the lower lobes (60%); however, almost any tissue may be involved. In children, the lungs may be the most common site of cyst formation. Up to 40% of patients with lung cyst will have liver cysts as well.

Most patients have single organ involvement (85-90%), and most will have a solitary cyst (>70%).

These cysts do not metastasize, but they may be disseminated by accidental spillage.

Pulmonary cystic rupture may result in clinically impressive and misleading symptoms of cough, chest pain, and hemoptysis.


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