CLINICAL TRIAL
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Albendazole is not effective for primary treatment of hepatic hydatid cysts.

INTRODUCTION: In current practice, minimal invazive interventions such as percutaneous drainage and laparoscopic surgery in adjunct treatment with benzimidazoles have been gaining acceptance in treatment of hydatid cystic disease with minimal morbidity and mortality. In this prospective study, the efficacy and validity of primary medical therapy in the treatment of hydatid cystic disease has been investigated.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Sixty-five patients with hepatic cystic disease were treated with albendazole alone between January 2004 and June 2007. All of the patients were administrated albendazole as 10 mg kg(-1) day(-1) divided into two equal doses for 6 months with ultrasonography (USG), serological tests, full-blood cell count and hepatic function tests performed in 2 months intervals in the course of treatment.

RESULTS: Fifty of the patients were female and 15 were male with a mean age of 47.0+/-16.9 (17-80). A total number of 106 cysts were present in 65 patients. Mean cystic diameter was 5.5+/-3.6 (1-16). In 41 of the patients, cysts were solitary and in remaining 24 patients cysts were multiple. Mean follow-up period was 28.3+/-8.6 (12-42) months. The overall success rate of albendazole therapy was 18% (12/65) in the study.

CONCLUSION: Albendazole therapy for hepatic hydatidosis is not effective in the vast majority of patients and, therefore, should not be used as the primary therapy for patients who are surgical candidates.

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