Surgically managed human cystic echinococcosis in north-eastern Iran: a single center's experience from 2001 to 2008.
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Cystic echinococcosis (CE) is a zoonotic parasitic disease caused by the tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus. Although CE has a large geographic distribution, data are lacking on the frequency of infection and epidemiology of CE in many endemic areas of the world, including the Middle East. Demographic and clinical information on surgically managed human CE cases were evaluated from a referral hospital in north-eastern Iran for the years 2001-2008. Of the 400 CE cases, 218 (54.5%) were male. The median age of patients was 35years (range 2-83years). The lungs (41.0%) and liver (37.7%) were the most commonly infected organs. However, 12.7% of patients had multiple organ involvement. The majority of cases (54.3%) were diagnosed using ultrasound, with only 12.0% diagnosed with the help of serology. Total white blood cell count was elevated in 26.8% (107/400) of patients, neutrophil count was elevated in 24.0% (96/400) of patients, and eosinophil count was elevated in 13.3% (53/400) of patients. Lymphocyte count was the only complete blood count (CBC) value that differed based on organ location (P=0.001). Despite some successes in the control of CE, the number of surgical CE cases in north-eastern Iran remains high. Although not diagnostic alone, CBC values allow for clinicians to obtain a more complete clinical picture of CE before, during, and after treatment. While serology has its place, the use of diagnostic imaging continues to be the most commonly used tool for the diagnosis of CE cases.