What Is Hydatid Cyst Brain?
Hydatid cysts are small fluid filled sacs located inside the nasal cavity. They form when bacteria or fungi living in the nose multiply and produce toxins. These toxins cause inflammation of the lining of the nasal passages causing swelling and pain. The condition is called hydatid cyst brain (HCB).
The condition occurs most often in children under 5 years old and rarely in adults. It may occur at any age but usually it starts between ages 2-5.
It is unknown exactly why children develop HCB but it is probably due to a combination of factors which might include a genetic disposition, a defect in the immune system and persistence of the organism.
The exact cause of the condition is unknown. There are two theories on how it starts and both are related to the immune system.
In one theory the body’s immune system does not destroy an organism that lives in the nasal passage. This organism multiplies and causes an infection. In the other theory, an organism enters through the nose and causes an infection. Either way, the infection causes swelling, pain and pus (mucus). The swelling can block the nasal passage causing difficulty in breathing. There may or may not be a fever.
What Is The Treatment For A Hydatid Cyst?
There are several different types of treatment for a hydatid cyst. The treatment of choice is surgical removal of the cyst. The entire procedure can be done through the mouth or through a small incision in the nose.
The surgical procedure is fairly short and the patient can go home on the same day. The patient may experience some pain after surgery and take pain medication for a few days.
Most patients have a full recovery and are able to breath through the nose normally.
Surgery is not always necessary but may be required if the cyst is large and causing breathing difficulties. The larger the cyst, the more likely it will need to be removed.
Treatment may also involve taking anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce the swelling and pain and antibiotics to fight off an infection. Surgery may also be necessary if the cyst is bleeding or if the cyst opens up and releases its contents into the body.
In these cases the patient may need to be hospitalized.
A small incision is made in the skin of the inside of the cheek and a small tube is inserted to drain the fluid from the cyst. The tube is then attached to a bottle that will collect the fluid.
This procedure is quite simple and the patient can go home the same day. This procedure will also need to be repeated daily until no more fluid is being collected. If too much fluid is drained at one time, the cyst may start bleeding. If this occurs the patient will need to be seen by a physician immediately.
The cyst can reoccur and surgery may be necessary again. The cyst can not be cured but cysts tend to shrink and become less noticeable as you get older.
If you continue to get cysts you may need surgery to make a small cut in the wall of your nose (called a septal perforation) to allow the fluid to drain out of your nose.
You should seek medical treatment if you get a swelling in your nose that lasts more than a few days, comes and goes, is painful or causes difficulty breathing. If you have any of these symptoms you may need to see a physician immediately.
You should also seek medical treatment if you notice any growths, lumps or changes in the way your nose looks or feels.
What Are The Side Effects Of The Treatment?
There are no permanent side effects to the treatment but there may be some side effects to the surgery. Rarely the body will form a membrane or a thin layer of skin across the inside of the nose. This may require surgery to remove.
Will This Happen Again?
It is unknown why some people get cysts and others don’t. Even if you’ve had a cyst in the past doesn’t mean you’ll get another one. If you do get another one it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get another one again after that. While it isn’t common, some people do tend to get recurring cysts multiple times. If you do get recurring cysts you may need to have a septal perforation (small hole) surgically created in your nose to allow fluid to drain out.
When Should I Seek Further Treatment?
You should seek medical attention immediately if you get a painful or swollen bump inside your nose that won’t go away, hurts to breathe or makes it difficult to breathe. This may be a sign of an infection or that the cyst has become cancerous.
How Long Before I Recover?
Most of the time there is no real recovery time. In the short term you may experience some bleeding and discomfort but this should pass in a day or two. If you had surgery to create a hole in your nose, you will have a thin layer of skin across the inside of your nose. You may find this itchy and uncomfortable for up to a week after the procedure.
If you find the skin irritating, use a Q-Tip to carefully wipe the inside of your nose with an over-the-counter anti-itch cream such as hydrocortisone. Don’t use anything with acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) in it because this may damage your nose.
When should I follow up with my physician?
You should schedule a follow-up appointment with your physician sometime in the next few weeks. This will allow your physician to check on your progress, ensure you are healing well and determine if any further treatment is required.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Echinococcus and hydatid disease (RCA Thompson, AJ Lymbery – 1995 – researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au)
- Hydatid disease from head to toe (P Polat, M Kantarci, F Alper, S Suma, MB Koruyucu… – Radiographics, 2003 – pubs.rsna.org)
- The radiology of hydatid disease (I Beggs – American journal of roentgenology, 1985 – Am Roentgen Ray Soc)
- Vertebral hydatid disease: radiological assessment. (PA Braithwaite, RF Lees – Radiology, 1981 – pubs.rsna.org)
- Alveolar hydatid disease (JF Wilson, RL Rausch – The American journal of tropical medicine and …, 1980 – ASTMH)