Case Report

Spinal Hydatid Disease, a Rare but Existent Pathological Entity: Case Report and Review of the Literature

Authors: George S. Sapkas, MD, Theofilos G. Machinis, MD, George D. Chloros, MD, Kostas N. Fountas, MD, PHD, George S. Themistocleous, MD, George Vrettakos, MD


Spinal hydatid disease is a not uncommon cause of spinal cord compression in endemic countries; however, involvement of the epidural space with sparing of the vertebral column is rare. Early diagnosis and surgical decompression with total removal of the hydatid lesion, when possible, is generally considered the standard of care for this disease. The authors describe a case of massive epidural hydatid disease without involvement of the vertebral column in a 62-year-old male patient, treated with a 2-stage surgical operation and administration of systemic albendazole. The literature is reviewed regarding the clinical features, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of spinal echinococcosis.

Key Points

* Spinal hydatid disease may be a cause of cauda equina syndrome, especially in endemic countries.

* Massive affection of the epidural space without involvement of the vertebral column is possible.

* Removal of cysts in toto is possible when the vertebral bodies are not affected and should be considered the standard of care, along with antiheliminthic agents to decrease the risk of recurrence.

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