Cystic Echinococcosis of the Liver: Experience From a Danish Tertiary Reference Center (2002–2010)


Sonia Branci, MD, Department of Radiology, Rigshospitalet, Blegdamsvej 9, Copenhagen OE 2100, Denmark. E-mail:


Background. Cystic echinococcosis (CE) of the liver can be treated with ultrasound-guided puncture, aspiration, injection, and re-aspiration (PAIR), with surgery and with benzimidazole derivatives. The aim of this study was to review available data concerning treatment modality and outcome for patients treated for CE of the liver in a Danish tertiary reference center.

Methods. A search was made for patients treated for CE infection between January 1, 2002 and January 1, 2010. All relevant patient records and radiology exams were scrutinized and all cysts were re-classified according to the WHO-IWGE, blinded as to which treatment the patient had received. PAIR was performed as a first choice treatment and surgery was reserved for cases where PAIR was impossible. Inactive cyst stages received medical treatment only.

Results. The search revealed 26 cases with confirmed CE of the liver. Nine patients underwent PAIR and nine patients surgery as a first choice treatment. Three patients were treated with PAIR secondary to surgery and one patient was treated with surgery secondary to PAIR. For all PAIR treatments, the success rate was 58% regardless of cyst stage and for surgery the success rate was 70%. The difference between the rates was not statistically significant (p = 0.67).

Conclusion. CE is a rare disease in Denmark and our study is the first describing clinical management of CE in our institution.