Home | About CytoJournalEditorial Board | Archived articles | Search CytoJ Articles | Subscribe | Peer review policies | CytoJournal Quiz Cases
  Reviewer corner | Author corner | OA Stewardĺs corner | CF memberĺs corner | Join as CF member | Manuscript submission | Open Access (OA) Advocacy
CytoJournal All 'FULL TEXT' in HTML are FREE under "open access" charter of CytoJournal.
To login for downloading any PDF OR to request TOC (Table of Content) by e-mail, please click here
Home Email this page Print this page Small font size Default font size Increase font size Cytopathology Foundation
Navigate here
Resource links
 ╗  Similar in PUBMED
 ╗  Search Pubmed for
 ╗  Search in Google Scholar for
 ╗  Article in PDF (1,920 KB)
 ╗  Citation Manager
 ╗  Access Statistics
 ╗  Reader Comments
 ╗  Email Alert *
 ╗  Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
 ╗  Cytomorphologica...
 ╗  Competing Intere...
 ╗  Authorship State...
 ╗  Ethics Statement...
 ╗  References
 ╗  Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded14    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 2    

Recommend this journal


Browse articles
CytoJournal 2012,  9:13

Diagnosis of pulmonary hydatid disease presenting with solid nodule and mimicking malignancy by fine needle aspiration cytology

Department of Pathology, Kocaeli University Medical School, Umuttepe, Izmit, Kocaeli, Turkey

Date of Submission18-Feb-2012
Date of Acceptance25-Mar-2012
Date of Web Publication05-May-2012

Correspondence Address:
Nadir Paksoy
Department of Pathology, Kocaeli University Medical School, Umuttepe, Izmit, Kocaeli
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1742-6413.95832

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Paksoy N, Ízer D, Tuneli IÍ. Diagnosis of pulmonary hydatid disease presenting with solid nodule and mimicking malignancy by fine needle aspiration cytology. CytoJournal 2012;9:13

How to cite this URL:
Paksoy N, Ízer D, Tuneli IÍ. Diagnosis of pulmonary hydatid disease presenting with solid nodule and mimicking malignancy by fine needle aspiration cytology. CytoJournal [serial online] 2012 [cited 2019 Sep 23];9:13. Available from: http://www.cytojournal.com/text.asp?2012/9/1/13/95832

Editorial / Peer-Review Statement: To ensure the integrity and highest quality of CytoJournal publications, the review process of this manuscript was conducted under a double blind model (authors are blinded for reviewers and vice versa) through automatic online system.

To the Editor,

Hydatid disease (HD) is caused by Echinococcus granulosus, endemic in the cattle- and sheep-raising regions of the underdeveloped and developed world. [1],[2]

The prevalence is rather high in several countries of the Mediterranean region, mainly in pastoral areas where the dog-sheep cycle of the parasite prevails. [3]

It also remains a health problem in Turkey, mainly in the rural areas of the eastern part of the country. [4]

Hydatid disease predominantly affects the liver and lungs. The relatively rare anatomic locations are the central nervous system, muscles, subcutaneous tissue, kidneys, bones, and body cavities. [1]

Pulmonary HD can be diagnosed by clinical and radiological findings, and serological analysis. However, old, arrested forms of the infection presenting with an organized, solid, atypical pulmonary nodule may mimic lung cancer. [5] Fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) can be a useful tool in the differential diagnosis. [6]

We report a case of pulmonary hydatid cyst presenting with a solid and solitary nodule, clinically and radiologically suspicious for malignancy, diagnosed by FNAC.

A 52-year-old female patient presented with a history of dyspnea and cough. Computed tomography (CT) revealed a solid nodular lesion, with a 2 cm diameter, in the apicoposterior segment of the upper lobe of the left lung [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Computed tomography image showing a nodular lesion (red arrow), 2 cm in diameter, in the apicoposterior segment of the upper lobe of the left lung

Click here to view

A clinical and radiological diagnosis of lung malignancy was rendered, and subsequently a CT-guided transthoracic FNAC was done.

 ╗ Cytomorphological Features Top

Direct air-dried smears from the aspirated material were stained with May-Grünwald-Giemsa (MGG) , and alcohol-fixed smears were stained with the Papanicolaou stain and hematoxylin and eosin.

The cytological smears showed laminated cyst wall particules (cuticula) and plenty of pathogonomic hooklets in the backgound of the necrotic debri, with inflammatory cell reaction in the form of neutrophils, foreign body giant cells, as well as hemosiderin-laden alveolar macrophages, and rective alveolar epithelial cells [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4] and [Figure 5]. No scolices were seen, probably due to the chronicity of the lesion.
Figure 2: Amorphous acellular laminated membrane (cuticula) with a few hooklets (H and E stain, ×400)

Click here to view
Figure 3: A foreign body giant cell neighboring a hooklet and another hooklet in the lower right corner (red arrow) (H and E stain, ×400)

Click here to view
Figure 4: A large group of free hooklets (MGG, ×400)

Click here to view
Figure 5: Numerous free hooklets in the inflammatory background (H and E stain, ×400)

Click here to view

These findings were reported as 'consistent with organized hydatid cyst'. Serological backup analysis was suggested. Subsequently, an echinococcosis Eliza IgG test was carried out and reported to be positive.

Following the cytodiagnosis, a radiological search revealed no other organ involvement. On consultation with 'the Faculty Thorax Council' consisting of specialist physicians from the Departments of Pathology, Radiology, Chest Diseases, Thoracic Surgery, and Oncology, it was decided that it was an organized and old solitary hydatid lesion, and a follow-up was advised to the patient without any medical or surgical treatment.

One year later a control CT scan was carried out , at the time of writing this report, and it showed no significant change in the lesion.

Hydatid disease is a chronic parasitic zoonotic infection in humans,which is transmitted between dogs and domestic livestock, particularly sheep. [2] It is still an important health problem not only in underdeveloping and developing countries, but also in industrialized countries, particularly in rural areas and / or among immigrant population from endemic countries. [1]

The lungs are the second-most common site of involvement after the liver. In fact, the diagnosis of pulmonary HD is based on clinical and radiological findings, and serological analysis (echinococcosis Eliza IgG test). FNAC is generally not preferred, and even regarded as contraindicated , due to fear of an untoward allergic reaction and dissemination following the procedure unless the presentation of the disease is atypical. [6],[7],[8],[9]

Most of the patients with pulmonary HD are asymptomatic, but depending on the localization and the size it can produce some nonspecific symptoms, such as, cough, chest pain, and hemoptysis. [10] Unless the cysts are ruptured, the disease cannot cause systemic manifestations like fever, fatigue, and weight loss.

Old and organized forms of pulmonary infection may present with a solid and solitary nodule, which may clinically and radiologically mimic malignancy like in our case. In this situation, FNAC can be considered in the differential diagnosis.

Diagnostic cytomorphological features of HD include laminated cyst wall fragments (also called cuticula), scolices, and hooklets. Identification of hooklets is regarded pathogonomonic, and observation of laminated membranes by itself is a presumptive finding in the cytodiagnosis of HD. [11]

An acompanying infiltrate of inflammatory cell reaction with necrotic debri, foreign body giant cells, hemosiderin-laden alveolar macrophages are also seen in the background, but this infiltation by itself is not diagnostic. [8] These findings were present in our case, except scolices. The identification of scolices assumes more difficulty in old, arrested infections, when the outer layer of the cyst has been replaced by cellular inflammatory response and nonspecific collagenous tissue. [12]

Hydatid disease is endemic mainly in the rural areas of the eastern part of Turkey. In the western parts of the country, including the province (Kocaeli) neighboring Istanbul, where our medical faculty is located, the disease is encountered sporadically, mostly among the people who have migrated from the endemic areas, as it was in our case.

Fine needle aspiration cytology is a useful, rapid, and diagnostic technique for the diagnosis of an organized form of pulmonary HD, clinically mimicking malignancy. No post aspiration adverse reactions were reported in the FNAC of such cases. [7],[8],[9],[11],[13]

First choice of treatment of pulmonary HD is surgery. [14] Medical treatment is an alternative to surgery where a surgical approach is not recommended in risk patients, and in cases with small and multiple lesions. [15] In our case, follow-up was preferred, because the lesion was old, arrested, and undersymptomatic.

On the other hand, one should bear in mind the possibility that carcinoma may rarely have clinical, radiological, and serological features, similar to those of a HD. Singh N, et al. reported a case of a large cell type lung carcinoma mimicking pulmonary HD, with a positive serological test for Echinococcus granulosus. [16] FNAC was not applied in this case, and the diagnosis of carcinoma was rendered histopathologically on the surgical specimen. The possible antigenic similarity between lung carcinoma and HD was also reported. [17] Literature screening revealed some cases of malignancy in the liver mimicking HD, [18],[19],[20],[21] as well as occasional cases of carcinoma associated with HD. [22],[23],[24],[25] The diagnosis of malignancy was confirmed by FNAC in the case with reference number 21, which was a case of undiffentiated embryonal sarcoma with atypical imaging features suggestive of HD, even though hydatid serology was negative. There was no record about the usage of FNAC in other cases.

In conclusion, in this report, our primary aim was to present the demonstative cytomorphological features of HD, and we also suggested that HD should be included in the differential diagnosis, in patients with solid pulmonary nodules, in the nonendemic regions of the endemic countries as well as in nonendemic countries having immigrant populations from endemic countries. In this case, the application of FNAC could be considered as a useful diagnostic method.

 ╗ Competing Interest Statement By All Authors Top

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

 ╗ Authorship Statement by All Authors Top

All authors of this article declare that they qualify for authorship as defined by the ICMJE. All authors are responsible for the conception of this study, have participated in its design and coordination, and helped to draft the manuscript. All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.

 ╗ Ethics Statement by All Authors Top

As this is a case report in the form of a letter without patient identifiers, approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) is not required.

 ╗ References Top

1.Raether W, Hanel H. Epidemiology, clinical manifestations and diagnosis of zoonotic cestode infections: an update. Parasitol Res 2003;91:412-38.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Craig PS, Larrieu E. Control of cystic echinococcosis / hydatidosis: 1863-2002. Adv Parasitol 2006;61:443-508.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Dakkak A. Echinococcosis / hydatidosis: a severe threat in Mediterranean countries. Vet Parasitol 2010;174:2-11.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.ªimºek S, Balkaya Ý, Köroðlu E. Epidemiological survey and molecular characterization of Echinococcus granulosus in cattle in an endemic area of eastern Turkey. Vet Parasitol 2010;172:347-9.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Kılınç O, Döºkaya M, Sakar A, Yorgancıoðlu A, Halilçolar H, Caner A, et al. Three atypical pulmonary hydatidosis lesions mimicking bronchial cancer from Turkey. New Microbiol 2009;32:229-33.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Handa U, Mohan H, Ahal S, Mukherjee KK, Dabra A, Lehl SS, et al. Cytodiagnosis of hydatid disease with Horner's syndrome: a case report. Acta Cytol 2001;45:784-8.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Ingram EA, Helikson MA. Echnicoccosis (hydatid disease) in Missouri: diagnosis by fine-needle aspiration of a lung cyst. Diagn Cytopathol 1991;7:527-31.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Das DK, Bhambhani S, Pant CS. Ultrasound guided fine-needle aspiration cytology: diagnosis of hydatid disease of the abdomen and thorax. Diagn Cytopathol 1995;12:173-6.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Singh A, Singh Y, Sharma VK, Agarwal AK, Bist D. Diagnosis of hydatid disease of abdomen and thorax by ultrasound guided fine needle aspiration cytology. Indian J Pathol Microbiol 1999;42:155-6.  Back to cited text no. 9
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
10.Tekinbaº C, Türedi S, Gündüz A, Erol MM. Hydatid cyst disease of the lung as an unusual cause of massive hemoptysis: a case report. J Med Case Reports 2009;3:21.  Back to cited text no. 10
11.Saenz-Santamaria J, Moreno-Casedo J, Nunez C. Role of fine-needle biopsy in the diagnosis of hydatid cyst. Diagn Cytopathol 1995;13:229-32.  Back to cited text no. 11
12.Kenny M, Aronson SM, Dyckman J. Acid-fast staining for hooklets of echinococcus. Stain Technol 1971;46:160-1.   Back to cited text no. 12
13.Gürkan OU, Topuz Z, Özdemir N, Ekinci C, Numanoðlu N. Repeated unintentional transthroracic needle aspiration of a pulmonary hydatid cyst. Scand J Infect Dis 2001;33:941-2.  Back to cited text no. 13
14.Sayek Ý, Yalın R, Sanaç Y. Surgical treatment of hydatid disease of the liver. Arch Surg 1980,115:847-50.  Back to cited text no. 14
15.Morar R, Feldman C. Pulmonary echinococcosis. Eur Respir J 2003;21-1069-77.  Back to cited text no. 15
16.Singh N, Srinivas R, Bal A, Aggarwal AN. Lung carcinoma mimicking hydatid cyst: A case report and review of the literature. Med Oncol 2009;26:424-8.   Back to cited text no. 16
17. Yonk WK, Heath DD, Savage T. Possible antigenic similarity between pulmonary carcinoma and cysts of Echinococcus granulosus. Br Med J 1979;1:1463-4.  Back to cited text no. 17
18.Mitchell AW, Higgins JN, Tate J, Dick R. Rim calcification in primary liver cell carcinoma mimicking hydatid disease. Gut 1994;35:567-8.  Back to cited text no. 18
19.Bacher H, Cerwenka H, Werkgartner G, El-Shabrawi A, Höss G, Preidler K, et al. Primary biliary cystadenocarcinoma perforating the duodenum and left intrahepatic biliary tree-mimicking a hydatid cyst. Liver 1999;19:39-41.  Back to cited text no. 19
20.Genç V, Çakmak A, Akbari M, Orozakunov E, Ersöz S. Primary biliary cystadenocarcinoma mimicking a complicated hydatid cyst. Chirurgia (Bucur) 2010;105:249-51.  Back to cited text no. 20
21.Kalra N, Vyas S, Jyoti DP, Kochhar R, Srinivasan R, Khandelwal N. Undifferentiated embryonal sarcoma of liver in an adult masquerading as complicated hydatid cyst. Ann Hepatol 2011;10:81-3.  Back to cited text no. 21
22.Miñana López B, Fernández Aparicio T, Vazquez Blanc S, Carrero López V, Rodríguez Antolin A, Passas Martínez J, et al. Hydatid cyst and renal adenocarcinoma: an exceptional association. Actas Urol Esp 1994;18:58-63.   Back to cited text no. 22
23.Zöld E, Barta Z, Zeher M. Hydatid disease of the liver and associated hepatocellular carcinoma. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2005;3:35.  Back to cited text no. 23
24.Molina FX, Moron JM, de la Serna S, Marti-Corbella A, Soro JA. Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma on a hydatidic cyst. Cir Esp 2007;82:182-4.   Back to cited text no. 24
25.Kostov D, Dragnev N, Patanov R, Kobakov G. Hepatocellular carcinoma complicated with echinococcal cyst of the liver. Khirurgiia (Sofiia) 2010;4-5:49-50.  Back to cited text no. 25


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5]

This article has been cited by
1 result 2 Document Announcement of first time Cytojournal impact factor for 2012 coincides with Cytojournal decade celebration (2004-2013)
Authors of Document Shidham, V.B., Demay, R.M.
CytoJournal. 2013;
2 result 1 Document Pulmonary echinococcosis with Actinomycetes-like organisms mimicking malignancy: Diagnosed by fine needle aspiration cytology
Gupta, N., Verma, S., Dutta, P., Mahajan, D., Kalra, N.
Journal of Cytology. 2013;


Previous article Next article


  Site Map | Copyright and Disclaimer
ę 2007 - CytoJournal | A journal by Cytopathology Foundation Inc with Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
New version online since 1st July '08
Open Access