Hydatid disease is still an important health hazard in the world. This disease is a
parasitic infestation which is endemic in many sheep and cattle raising areas such as in Iran. The
aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical appearance, diagnosis, and treatment of liver hydatid
cyst in children.
This retrospective study evaluated 100 patients who were referred to Mofid Children's
Hospital with liver hydatid cyst from March 1996 to March 2010. Medical records of 1 to 14 year
old patients who had definitive liver hydatid cyst were included and analysis of variables such as
age, gender, symptoms, diagnostic investigation, operative technique, hospital stay, mortality,
morbidity and outcome of treatment were evaluated.
The patients consisted of 54 boys (54%) and 46 (46%) girls with an age range of 1-14
years (mean 11.8±4.6). The incidence rate increased by age. The patients had totally 110 cysts,
right pulmonary lobe 81 (73%) cysts and left side had 29 (27%). Abdominal mass was the most
common (50%) symptom. Abdominal sonography gave correct diagnosis in 94 (94%) patients.
Conservative surgical treatment was carried out in 98 children. Two patients were treated
medically as the cysts were small and calcified. The most common complication was wound
infection in 3 cases. Mean length of hospitalization was 9 days. In 100% of our patients the type of
parasite was Echinoccocus granulosus
. The morbidity rate was 12% (prolonging external catheter
drainage in 12 patients). There was only one (1%) mortality and 2 (2%) recurrences.
Due to the less invasive and high accuracy of liver sonography in diagnosis of hydatid
cyst, we recommend it as the method of choice for the diagnosis in endemic regions. Surgery is the
method of choice for treatment.