Echinococcosis is a cosmopolitan zoonotic parasitic disease caused by infection with the larval stage of tapeworms from the Echinococcus genus, most commonly Echinococcus granulosus. According to WHO, more than 1 million people are affected by hydatid disease at any time.1 About 10% of the annual cases are not officially diagnosed.2 In humans, the disease is characterized by development of three-layered cysts. The cysts develop primarily in the liver and the lungs, but can also affect any other organ due to the spreading of the oncospheres. Cardiac involvement is very uncommon - only about 0.01-2% of all cases.4,5 In most cases, the cysts develop asymptomatically, but heart cysts could manifest with chest pain, dyspnea, cough, hemophtisis and can complicate with rupture. Diagnosis is based on a number of imaging techniques and positive serological tests. Treatment for cardiac localization is almost exclusively surgical.
We present a case of an incidental finding of an echinococcal cyst in the left atrium (rarest possible localization of heart echinococcosis) in a patient, admitted for infective endocarditis.
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