Splenic hydatid infection

Splenic hydatid infection is a rare form of Hydatid disease, and isolated splenic involvement is even less common.

Splenic hydatid disease has been reported to constitute up to 4% of cases of abdominal hydatid disease 4.

Splenic hydatid cysts are usually solitary. As the hydatic cyst increases in size it may lead to compression of the hilar vessels of the spleen, resulting in pericystic splenic atrophy. Eventually the cyst may completely replace the splenic parenchyma. Chronic pericystic inflammation may cause adhesion with adjacent organs or even fistulization between the cyst and nearby organs such as the stomach, pancreas, left colon, left kidney or bronchus 2.

Source of infection
  • systemic dissemination
  • intraperitoneal spread from a ruptured hepatic hydatid cyst 1
  • retrograde spread from the liver to the spleen via the hepatic portal and splenic veins in portal hypertension 2

Splenic hydatid cysts are generally asymptomatic. When the cyst reaches an advanced size, the patient presents with a painful mass in the left hypochondrium 4.

Symptoms are nonspecific and include:

  • abdominal pain
  • enlarged spleen
  • fever

Imaging findings are similar to those of hepatic hydatid disease and range from purely cystic lesions to a completely solid appearance 1.

Ultrasonography and CTare the most valuable imaging techniques for the diagnosis and evaluation of focal splenic diseases 3.

The differential diagnosis for splenic hydatid cysts includes other splenic cystic lesions:

Management options include surgery but owing to the risk of spontaneous or traumatic rupture, splenic hydatid cysts are usually treated surgically with a total or partial splenectomy. Albendazole therapy is the mainstay of treatment in the postoperative follow-up period 4.

Complications
  • secondary infection is rare and usually occurs by haematogenous spread 2
  • cyst rupture
  • anaphylactic shock 3
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Article Information

rID: 21741
Section: Pathology
Tag: spleen
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Splenic hydatid cyst
  • Splenic hydatid cysts
  • Hydatid infection of the spleen
  • Hydatid cyst of the spleen

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