Which imaging studies are indicated in the workup of 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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As with most space-occupying lesions, imaging techniques are very useful. CT, MRI, and/or ultrasonography can assist in determining the extent and stage of the infestation and in evaluating the surrounding structures. CT is better in detecting calcified lesions, and MRI is better for visualizing necrotic or fibrotic noncalcified lesions and extrahepatic lesions of alveolar echinococcosis. Calcification occurs commonly in hepatic cysts but rarely in pulmonary cysts.

Ultrasonographic appearance of echinococcal cysts Ultrasonographic appearance of echinococcal cysts (Gharbi type I, World Health Organization [WHO] standardized classification CE1).

Radiographically, guided needle aspiration of a cyst is occasionally indicated for proper identification of cyst etiology without a need for concern of dissemination.

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