Echinococcus granulosus (Hydatid disease)


Echinococcus granulosus (Hydatid disease)


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USMLE® Step 1 questions

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Echinococcus granulosus (Hydatid disease)

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USMLE® Step 1 style questions USMLE

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A 35-year-old man presents to an urgent care center for evaluation of right upper quadrant pain, which has been progressing for the past four months. In addition, the patient has had intermittent episodes of nausea and vomiting. He immigrated from Guatemala around a year ago. The patient does not consume alcohol or tobacco products. Past medical history is notable for hypertension. The temperature is 37.8°C (99.9°F), pulse is 78/min, and blood pressure is 141/80 mmHg. Pain is elicited with palpation of the right upper quadrant. Abdominal imaging is shown below. Which of the following pathogens is most likely responsible for this patient’s symptoms?

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Echinococcus granulosus

cestodes p. 157

disease association p. 158


Echinococcus granulosus is a tapeworm that lives in the intestines of dogs and other animals. If a person swallows eggs of this worm, the eggs can hatch and grow into new worms inside the person's body. These new worms can form hydatid cysts (sac-like structures) in different organs, most often in the liver but also in the lungs, brain, and kidneys. Hydatid disease is caused by these hydatid cysts and can be fatal if not treated.


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