• echinococcosis;
  • non-hepatic hydatid cyst;
  • rare location;
  • treatment

Background:  Hydatid disease is an endemic parasitic disease of the Mediterranean countries. Although the liver is the most commonly involved organ, the disease can be seen anywhere in the body. In the present study, we present our experience with uncommonly located hydatid disease diagnosed and treated between 1983 and 1999 in the Sixth Surgical Department of Ankara Numune Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey.

Methods:  Forty-nine patients with unusually located hydatid disease were retrospectively analysed. There were 21 men and 28 women in the present series. Of those, 26 patients were harbouring both hepatic and extrahepatic cysts, while 23 had only extrahepatic cysts. Peritoneal cavity, spleen, retroperitoneum, thyroid gland, anterior abdominal wall, thigh, kidney, presacral space and pancreas were the organs or tissues involved in the cases. Spleen and peritoneal cavity were the two most frequent locations in the present series.

Results:  Partial or total cystectomy with or without tube drainage or omentopexy was the operation of choice for hydatid cyst of the peritoneal cavity. Splenectomy was performed for splenic hydatidosis. Mean postoperative stay was 7 days (4−23). Three diaphragmatic and one inferior vena cava lacerations occurred during operations that were repaired successfully in the same sessions. No mortality occurred in the present series.

Conclusion:  Hydatid disease can affect any organ or area throughout the body and suspicion of this disease should be justified in patients presenting with a cystic mass in endemic areas.