Hydatid disease of the central nervous system: A review of literature with an emphasis on Latin American countries

Ali Nourbakhsh, Prasad Vannemreddy, Eduardo González Toledo, Enrique Palacios, Anil Nanda

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objective: To provide an up to date review of the epidemiology, etiology, treatment and prevention of hydatid cyst of the central nervous system, with an emphasis in South American countries. Methods: We searched the PubMed databases for articles containing the terms 'hydatid cyst' and 'nervous system'. Results: We found and reviewed 303 articles and their related references. We provide the available information on the pathology, life cycle and diagnostic modalities (laboratory tests and imaging) along with possible complications of the disease. Current treatment methods of hydatid cyst in the brain and spine are also being discussed. Discussion: Echinococcosis is a rare parasitic disease, endemic in some parts of South America. The epidemiology of echinococcosis is influenced by agricultural, educational, economic, medical and cultural factors. Human infestation occurs through the fecal-oral route. Infection of the central nervous system is rare, and the mainstay of treatment is surgical excision of the intracranial or spinal cyst, when present. Preventive programs should break the parasite life cycle and also educate the farmers in endemic areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-251
Number of pages7
JournalNeurological Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


  • Central nervous system
  • Echinococcus
  • Hydatid cyst
  • Intracranial
  • Spine


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