CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Ultrasound Int Open 2018; 4(03): E70-E78
DOI: 10.1055/a-0650-3807
Eigentümer und Copyright ©Georg Thieme Verlag KG 2018

Ultrasound and Cystic Echinococcosis

Enrico Brunetti
1   San Matteo Hospital Foundation, University of Pavia, Unit of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Pavia, Italy
Francesca Tamarozzi
2   Center for Tropical Diseases, Sacro Cuore-Don Calabria Hospital, Negrar, Verona, Italy
Calum Macpherson
3   St.George’s University, Ultrasound, Grenada, India
Carlo Filice
1   San Matteo Hospital Foundation, University of Pavia, Unit of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Pavia, Italy
Markus Schindler Piontek
4   Caritas Krankenhaus Bad Mergentheim, Academic Teaching Hospital of the University of Würzburg, Medical Clinic 2, Bad Mergentheim, Germany
Adnan Kabaalioglu
5   Akdeniz University, Radiology, Antalya, Turkey
Yi Dong
6   Zhongshan Hospital, Ultrasound, Shanghai, China
Nathan Atkinson
7   John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, Department of Gastroenterology, Oxford, New Zealand
Joachim Richter
8   Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health, Charité Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, Germany
Dagmar Schreiber-Dietrich
9   Caritas-Krankenhaus Bad Mergentheim, Department of Pediatrics, Bad Mergentheim, Germany
Christoph F Dietrich
10   Caritas-Krankenhaus, Medizinische Klinik 2, Bad Mergentheim, Germany
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received 25 October 2017
revised 25 May 2018

accepted 18 June 2018

Publication Date:
23 October 2018 (online)


The introduction of imaging techniques in clinical practice 40 years ago changed the clinical management of many diseases, including cystic echinococcosis (CE). For the first time cysts were clearly seen before surgery. Among the available imaging techniques, ultrasound (US) has unique properties that can be used to study and manage cystic echinococcosis. It is harmless, can image almost all organs and systems, can be repeated as often as required, is portable, requires no patient preparation, is relatively inexpensive and guides diagnosis, treatment and follow-up without radiation exposure and harm to the patient. US is the only imaging technique which can be used in field settings to assess CE prevalence because it can be run even on solar power or a small generator in remote field locations. Thanks to US classifications, the concept of stage-specific treatments was introduced and because US is repeatable, the scientific community has gained a clearer understanding of the natural history of the disease. This paper reviews the scope of US in CE, describes its strengths and weaknesses compared to other imaging techniques and its relationship with serodiagnosis and discusses sonographic features that may be helpful in differential diagnosis.

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