Giant isolated hydatid lung cyst: two case reports

Jay Lodhia, Samwel Chugulu, Adnan Sadiq, David Msuya & Alex Mremi
Publication year: 


Echinococcosis is a parasitic disease caused by Echinococcus granulosus and causes cystic lesions in the liver and lungs commonly. It is endemic in many parts of the world, and though humans are incidental hosts of the parasite, the disease can have severe consequences.

Case presentation

We present two patients from pastoralist (Maasai) communities in rural Tanzania with long-standing chest pain accompanied by hemoptysis. Both were managed surgically after diagnosis, but one patient died of the complications following rapture of the cyst during surgery. Histopathological evaluation of the specimens confirmed the diagnosis of giant hydatid cysts.


Animal-keeping communities such as the Maasai are at risk of echinococcosis because of their close proximity to animals. The diagnosis can be made on the basis of history and radiological as well as laboratory findings. Surgery is a recommended mode of treatment, though it carries a high risk, especially when the cyst ruptures. Primary preventive measures are thus necessary in order to avoid the secondary and tertiary complications of the management of giant hydatid cysts, which is difficult in resource-limited endemic areas.