Getachew Assefa


Background: Primary cerebral and spinal hydatidosis are very rare accounting for 2 and 1 percent of hydatidosis respectively. The aim of this study is to describe the MRI and CT imaging features and the pathological correlates of primary cerebral and spinal hydatidosis and discuss the differential diagnosis.

Materials and Methods:  The MRI and CT images of assorted seven cerebral and three spinal primary hydatidosis who were operated on in teaching and tertiary referral hospitals between 2006 and 2016 and had histological confirmation were analyzed after exclusion of primary visceral hydatidosis using chest x-ray and abdominal ultrasound.

Results:  There were seven cerebral and three spinal primary hydatidosis. Their median age was 11.5 years with female to male ratio of 1.5:1. Cerebral hydatidosis presented with focal neurological deficits, seizure and blurred vision and the spinal cases presented with paraparesisincontinence. The cerebral hydatids were intra-axial with an average size of 8 cm and located in the temporoparietal and parietooccipital lobes, and of the three spinal hydatids, two were located in the thoracic and one in the sacral region. The latter cases involved the spinal canal and paravertebral regions compressing the spinal cord and the dura and destroying the vertebrae.

Conclusion: Primary central nervous system (CNS) hydatidosis is being observed in a relatively increased frequency in the Ethiopian setting after the recent introduction of MRI and CT imaging in teaching tertiary referral hospitals. Therefore, awareness should be raised in the differential diagnosis of cystic CNS mass lesion especially in pediatric and young adult patients from rural Ethiopia to improve treatment outcomes.


Key words: CNS hydatidosis, CT/MRI imaging


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