Adrenal gland and paraganglia
Other benign cortical lesions
Parasitic cyst

Author: Lan L. Gellert, M.D., Ph.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 13 April 2017, last major update April 2017

Copyright: (c) 2002-2016,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Parasitic cyst [title]

Related: Adrenal cysts
Cite this page: Parasitic cyst. website. Accessed March 25th, 2018.
Essential features
  • Usually echinococcal, as part of disseminated hydatid disease
  • Primary hydatid cyst of the adrenal gland is extremely rare
  • Rarely caused by visceral leishmaniasis
Clinical features
  • Mostly asymptomatic, occasionally with abdominal pain
Case reports
  • Surgical excision
  • Anthelmintic agents
Clinical images

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Ultrasound of left
kidney showing multicystic
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Abdominal ultrasonography
revealing large hypoechoic
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Type III hydatid cyst

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A cystic mass of homogeneous fluid

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Wall contains many eosinophils, also evidence of parasite
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on Pathout server:

Contributed by Lan L. Gellert, M.D., Ph.D.
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Hydatid cyst

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Large adrenal gland mass

Differential diagnosis
  • Adrenal pseudocyst: cyst with predominantly blood or hemorrhagic fluid; lack parasitic elements
Board review question #1
    Which of the following is the most common cause of adrenal parasitic cysts:

    A. Echinococcus
    B. Leishmania
    C. Strongyloides
    D. Taenia solium
    E. Toxoplasma
Board review answer #1
    A. Echinococcus

    Most adrenal parasitic cysts are caused by Echinococcus granulosus larva. Infection by the larvae of Taenia solium causes cysts in the muscle or brain (called cysticercosis)