Hydatid Disease (AHD) Can be Confused
With Cirrhosis of the Liver
Alveolar Hydatid Disease
is caused by the Human Tapeworm, Echinococcus multilocularis, the
tapeworm found in dogs, as well as other canines, and cats. The
canines and cats carry the adult tapeworms and pass the eggs into
the environment through their stool. Once the human ingests the
eggs, the eggs release the larvae; the larvae then separates and
invades the intestinal wall entering the circulatory system. The
larvae can travel throughout the body and form parasitic tumors.
The most common site of tumors from the Echinococcus granulosus
tapeworm is the liver (60%). These tumors, formally called Hydatid
disease, are also found in the lungs (25%), brain, and other organs.
Hydatid cysts grow over the course of many years at an average rate
of about 13 cm per year. Surgery is often required to remove the
mass. Symptoms are: discomfort in the upper abdominal quadrant,
a cough, Jaundice, weakness, and weight loss. The symptoms can mimic
those of liver cancer or cirrhosis of the liver.