Background: Alveolar echinococcosis is a rare disorder, which makes a comparison of different treatment modalities within a clinical trial difficult to perform. Data prospectively recorded over a period of 25 years were used to evaluate three therapeutic strategies: benzimidazole therapy alone, complete 'curative' resection followed by 2 years of adjuvant benzimidazole treatment, and partial debulking resection followed by continuous administration of a benzimidazole. Methods: Details of 113 patients with hepatic alveolar echinococcosis treated between 1976 and 2003 were analysed. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were constructed and, using a Cox regression model, patient age, year of initial treatment and PNM stage were entered as co-variates in the analysis. Results: Kaplan-Meier overall survival curves stratified for treatment strategy indicated an improved long-term survival in patients undergoing the debulking procedure (P = 0.061) or curative resection (P = 0.002) compared with benzimidazole therapy alone. However, when PNM stage, patient age and year of initial treatment were introduced into the analysis, there was a trend for survival advantage only with curative resection (P = 0.07 versus benzimidazole alone). Debulking resulted in a higher rate of progression of hepatic echinococcosis than curative surgery (P = 0-008). The incidence of parasite-related complications was similar for debulking resection and benzimidazole therapy alone (P = 0.706). Conclusion: Debulking hepatic resections do not appear to offer any advantage in the treatment of patients with alveolar echinococcosis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes