Journal of Mid-life Health Journal of Mid-life Health
Home | About us | Editorial board | Search | Ahead of print | Current Issue | Past Issues | Instructions | Online submission | Subscribe | Advertise Users Online: 359  Print this pageEmail this pageSmall font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size 

 Table of Contents 
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 134-136  

Isolated renal hydatid cyst in a diabetic postmenopausal female

Department of Medicine, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, India

Date of Web Publication16-Sep-2015

Correspondence Address:
Monica Gupta
1156-C, 32-B, Chandigarh - 160 030
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0976-7800.165597

Rights and Permissions

Isolated renal hydatid disease is very uncommon and is usually an unexpected disclosure during radiological imaging. Since it affects the kidney, renal mass, or colic, hematuria, pyuria, and dysuria are the predominant symptoms. We present a case of a 48-year-old diabetic postmenopausal female incidentally diagnosed with an isolated giant renal hydatid cyst while evaluating the cause of recurrent flank pain.

Keywords: Echinococcosis, hydatid cyst, renal

How to cite this article:
Gupta M, Singh R, Lehl SS. Isolated renal hydatid cyst in a diabetic postmenopausal female. J Mid-life Health 2015;6:134-6

How to cite this URL:
Gupta M, Singh R, Lehl SS. Isolated renal hydatid cyst in a diabetic postmenopausal female. J Mid-life Health [serial online] 2015 [cited 2022 Dec 3];6:134-6. Available from:

   Introduction Top

Hydatid disease, also known as Echinococcosis, is a zoonotic disease caused by the larval stage of the Echinococcus tapeworm. The two main types are Echinococcus granulosus and Echinococcus multilocularis belonging to the order Cestoda and the family Taenia. Humans may become intermediate hosts through contact with a definitive host (dogs and other carnivores) or ingestion of contaminated water or vegetables. The worm affects commonly the liver (65%) and the lungs (25%), less commonly bones 5%, kidney 2-4%, spleen 2%, heart 1%, pancreas 1%, and central nervous system 1%; however, no organ is immune. [1] Hydatid cysts typically remain asymptomatic for years, and therefore grow enormously until detected. Renal hydatid cysts remain unnoticed until they present with renal pain, hematuria, pyuria, or intermittent fever. [2]

   Case Report Top

A 48-year-old diabetic postmenopausal lady presented with left-sided recurrent flank pain for 4 years with intermittent dysuria and hematuria. She had been prescribed anti-spasmodics, analgesics and antibiotics off and on, suspecting it to be either renal colic or recurrent urinary tract infection. Her diabetes was well controlled on insulin and she had no evidence of target organ damage. On abdominal examination, the abdomen was soft and a vague cystic swelling was palpable in the left hypochondrium and lumbar region. Rest of the systemic examination was unremarkable. Laboratory investigations revealed eosinophilia 1200 cells/mm 3 , normal liver function tests, and mildly deranged renal functions (blood urea 45 mg/dl and serum creatinine 1.4 mg/dl). The chest radiograph was normal. Ultrasonography revealed a multiseptate cystic mass in the left kidney replacing the whole renal tissue. The liver and right kidney were normal. The computed tomography (CT) scan revealed a large well-defined soft tissue attenuating mass lesion showing multiple cystic areas within it, arising from cortex of upper pole of left kidney replacing the renal tissue [Figure 1]a and b. No obvious contrast enhancement was noted on arterial or venous phase and no calcification was seen. These findings were suggestive of renal Echinococcosis. Hydatid serology using the immuno-hemagglutination test was positive. The patient was advised albendazole 400 mg BD for 4 weeks and referred to the surgeons. Patient was operated using transperitoneal approach laparotomy and nephrectomy. The surgical specimen confirmed the diagnosis of renal hydatid. She was asymptomatic during the last one and a half year follow up.
Figure 1: (a) Coronal section of contrast-enhanced computed tomography scan revealing a large well-defined expansile soft tissue hypo-attenuating mass lesion showing multiple cystic areas within it suggestive of hydatid, arising from cortex of upper pole of left kidney. (b) Axial section of contrast-enhanced computed tomography scan showing the large multiseptate left renal hydatid cyst. This image is typical of Type 2 cysts, which are multilocular with mixed internal attenuation, contain multiseptated daughter cysts

Click here to view

   Discussion Top

Renal hydatid cysts are very rare, mostly unilateral, solitary and located in upper or lower renal cortex. [3],[4],[5] Clinical features are generally late and non-specific, unless there is gross hydatiduria, which sparks the clinical diagnosis. Thus, the identification of primary hydatid cyst of the kidney is usually radiological; however, a positive serology often helps in preoperative confirmation. The pathogenesis of isolated renal Echinococcus is speculative. It is not known how the hydatid embryo primarily affects kidney, but it is assumed that it passes through the portal system and retroperitoneal lymphatics without getting lodged there. [6] Renal hydatid may be complicated by rupture or superadded bacterial infection. Cystic rupture into the collecting system causes hydatiduria, seen in only 10-20% of renal hydatid and is usually microscopic. Gross passage of the daughter cyst is rather uncommon. [7],[8]

Plain abdominal films may show ring-shaped or curvilinear calcifications delineating a pericyst or a soft-tissue mass corresponding to the hydatid cyst. Excretory urography commonly depicts infundibular and caliceal distortion. Intravenous urogram can reveal a communication with renal ductal system and functioning of kidneys. At ultrasonography, hydatid disease is suggested by the presence of a thick, bilayered wall, "falling snowflake" or "snowstorm" sign - multiple echogenic foci produced by hydatid sand that is dispersed when the patient rolls, and detachment of the endocyst from the pericyst with a "floating membranes" appearance. Other characteristic appearance is "wheel-spoke" pattern or "racemose" pattern, wherein multiple daughter cysts separated by a fluid matrix containing membranes, scolices, and hydatid sand demonstrate mixed echogenicity. [6] Newer radiological techniques like computed tomographic (CT) scan and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) remain the mainstay of diagnosis. Depending upon the developmental stage of the parasite, imaging appearances vary. The CT scan demonstrates an expansile, well-defined, hypo-attenuating cystic lesion giving a wheel-like or rosette appearance, and four types of cysts can be identified. Type 1 cysts are unilocular and correspond to the initial development and may mimic a simple renal cyst. Type 2 cysts are multilocular with mixed internal attenuation containing multiseptated daughter cysts, which are seen at the intermediate stage of parasitic development and may be mistaken for polycystic kidney disease. Type 3 cysts are completely calcified and symbolize death of the parasite. Type 4 cysts are complicated, that is, have either ruptured or superinfected. Type 1 or 2 cysts may have thick or calcified walls. MRI is often utilized, but is not really superior to CT. On T2-weighted MR images, hydatid cysts characteristically have a low-signal-intensity thick rim and hyperintense maternal matrix, which appears hypointense on T1-weighted images. [4]

Peripheral eosinophilia may be present in almost half of the patients. Serological tests may help in confirming pre-operative diagnosis; commonly employed tests are immuno-electrophoresis, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, immuno-hemagglutination test, and complement fixation test. The Casoni and Weinberg tests are unreliable and outdated. A combination of investigations yields a diagnosis in almost 50% of cases. [9] The confirmatory test is arc 5 immunoelectrophoresis. A polymerase chain reaction may be required rarely to define the particular species of Echinococcus.

Kidney-sparing cyst excision surgery is the mainstay of treatment; however, the surgeon may resort to partial or complete nephrectomy in difficult cases or when the kidney is non-functioning. Spillage of contents should be prevented at all costs. Pre- and postoperative albendazole is advised to sterilize and decongest the cyst and decrease anaphylaxis risk. During surgery, scolicidal agents preferably hypertonic saline or povidone iodine should be injected into the cyst to kill the infective daughter cysts. Transperitoneal approach could be safer than a retroperitoneal approach.

Learning points

Recurrent urinary infections must be investigated for structural uro-genital abnormalities. Primary renal hydatid disease should be suspected in cases of unexplained flank pain, recurrent dysuria, or palpable renal lump. Diagnosis is straightforward with radio-imaging techniques and surgical excision is the cornerstone of management. However, an early thoughtful diagnosis could potentially spare the kidney by timely institution of medical therapy.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Gogus C, Safak M, Baltaci S, Turkolmez K. Isolated renal hydatidosis: Experience with 20 cases. J Urol 2003;169:186-9.  Back to cited text no. 1
Zmerli S, Ayed M, Horchani A, Chami I, El Ouakdi M, Ben Slama MR. Hydatid cyst of the kidney: Diagnosis and treatment. World J Surg 2001;25:68-74.  Back to cited text no. 2
Shukla A, Garge S, Verma P. A case of large renal hydatid cyst. Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl 2011;22:538-40.  Back to cited text no. 3
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Gharde P, Wagh D, Patil A. Left renal hydatid cyst presenting as hematuria and macroscopic hydatiduria since last ten years. Trop Parasitol 2012;2:58-60.  Back to cited text no. 4
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Seetharam V, Khanna V, Jaiprakash P, Kosaraju K, Thomas J, Mukhopadhayay C. Primary hydatid cyst of the kidney and ureter with hydatiduria in a laboratory worker: A case report. Case Rep Nephrol 2012;2012:596923.  Back to cited text no. 5
Pedrosa I, Saiz A, Arrazola L, Ferreiros J, Pedrosa CS. Hydatid disease: Radiologic and pathologic features and complications. Radiographics 2000;20:795-817.  Back to cited text no. 6
Shukla S, Singh SK, Pujani M. Multiple disseminated abdominal hydatidosis presenting with gross hydatiduria: A rare case report. Indian J Pathol Microbiol 2009;52: 213-4.  Back to cited text no. 7
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Mongha R, Narayan S, Kundu AK. Primary hydatid cyst of kidney and ureter with gross hydatiduria: A case report and evaluation of radiological features. Indian J Urol 2008;24:116-7.  Back to cited text no. 8
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Angulo JC, Sanchez-Chapado M, Diego A, Escribano J, Tamayo JC, Martin L. Renal echinococcosis: Clinical study of 34 cases. J Urol 1997;157:787-94.  Back to cited text no. 9


  [Figure 1]

This article has been cited by
1 Primary Renal Hydatid in Children
Jeff John, Bernard Marais
European Medical Journal. 2022;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Primary Renal Hydatid in Children
Jeff John, Bernard Marais
EMJ Urology. 2022;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 Double Retroperitoneal Hydatid Localization: A Case Report
Ramzi Mejri, Kays Chaker, Mokhtar Bibi, Sami Ben Rhouma, Yassine Nouira
The Korean Journal of Urological Oncology. 2021; 19(4): 281
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
4 Isolated Renal Hydatid Cyst Misdiagnosed and Operated as a Cystic Renal Tumor
RabeaA. Gadelkareem, AymanA. Elqady, SayedK. Abd-Elshafy, Hisham Imam, HassanA. Abolella
Medical Principles and Practice. 2018; 27(3): 297
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
5 Presence of an Isolated Hydatid Cyst in the Left Kidney: Report of a Case of This Rare Condition Managed Surgically
Daniel Paramythiotis,Petros Bangeas,Konstantinia Kofina,Vassileios Papadopoulos,Antonios Michalopoulos
Case Reports in Urology. 2016; 2016: 1
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
   Case Report
    Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded237    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 5    

Recommend this journal