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Acute intraperitoneal rupture of hydatid cysts: a surgical experience with 14 cases

World Journal of Emergency Surgery
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1186/1749-7922-8-28
  • Research Article
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Introduction Hydatidosis is endemic in the Mediterranean region including morrocco, the Middle and Far East, Australia, New Zealand, and South America—all areas where animal husbandry is common. Rupture into the abdominal cavity is a rare but serious complication of hydatid disease. The cysts may be ruptured after a trauma, or spontaneously as a result of increased intracystic pressure. Rupture of the hydatid cyst requires emergency surgical intervention. Methods Fourteen patients received surgical treatment for intraperitoneal rupture of the cysts over a period of 5 years. Age, gender, time to surgery from the onset of the symptoms, laboratory findings, diagnostic procedures, surgical treatment modalities, in-hospital stay, morbidity, mortality and recurrence were evaluated retrospectively. Results Eight of the patients were men and six were women. All of the patients had signs of peritoneal irritation. One patient (7,14%) had a history of blunt abdominal trauma. Ultrasonography scans revealed intra-abdominal fluid in all cases, intraperitoneal multiple cysts in 11 cases and heterogeneous cavity or cystic structures in the liver in 12 cases. Computed tomography showed multiple cystic lesions in the liver and peritoneum with intra-abdominal free fluid. The ruptured cysts were located in the right lobe of the liver in seven patients, in the left lobe in six patients and in both lobes in one patients. Procedures to fill the cystic cavities were applied after removal of the intraperitoneal fluid. Partial pericystectomy and drainage was the most frequent surgical procedure. No patients died in the early postoperative period. A total of seven morbidities developed in six patients (35.3%). Median hospital stay was 08 days and median follow-up was 12 months. Intra-abdominal recurrence occurred in one case (7.7%). Conclusions Rupture of hydatid cysts into the peritoneal cavity, although rare, presents a challenge for surgeons. This pathology should be included in the differential diagnosis of acute abdomen in endemic areas. The operative procedures, either radical or conservative, should be based on the patient’s condition, the regional characteristics, and the surgeon’s experience. The morbidity and mortality rates of surgical interventions for ruptured hydatid cysts are higher than the rates for elective uncomplicated cases.

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