, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 256-261
Date: 12 May 2008

Long-Term Results of Percutaneous Treatment of Hydatid Liver Cysts: a Single Center 17 Years Experience

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Liver cystic echinococcosis is considered a relatively benign disease, nevertheless, treatment is mandatory in symptomatic cysts and recommended in active cysts because of the risk of severe complications. Surgery is still considered the gold standard treatment. In the last two decades percutaneous injection of scolicidal agents has been developed with excellent results in terms of disappearance of the cyst, very low side effects and low mortality rate.

Materials and Methods:

One hundred sixty eight patients with 225 liver cysts were studied. A total of 108 patients with 151 viable hydatid liver cysts underwent Double Percutaneous Aspiration and Injection of alcohol of the cyst without re-aspiration of the ethanol, which remained in situ.


The mortality rate was 0.9% (1 patient), the overall morbidity was 8.6% with only 2.5% of major side effects. The mean hospital stay was very short (2.9 days). Follow-up ranged from 14 to 204 months (median 48 months). Ultrasonography showed complete disappearance of the cyst with reconstitution of liver parenchyma in 109 out of 225 (48.4%) cysts; in the remaining cysts a solid or a liquid findings were observed in 104 (46.2%) and 12 (5.3%), respectively, with a decreased volume of 50–80%.


These data show that Double Percutaneous Aspiration and Injection of alcohol for hydatid liver cysts can achieve comparable results to open surgery. The low incidence of side effects shows that this technique is safe and cost effective, compared to radical or conservative surgery.