World journal of gastroenterology

Proposal of an ultrasonographic classification for hepatic alveolar echinococcosis: Echinococcosis multilocularis Ulm classification-ultrasound.

PMID 26604646


To establish an ultrasonographic classification based on a large sample of patients with confirmed hepatic alveolar echinococcosis (AE). Clinical data and ultrasonography (US) findings of 185 patients (100 males; 85 females; mean age at diagnosis: 51.4 ± 17.6 years; mean age at time of US examination: 58.7 ± 18.2 years) were retrospectively reviewed with respect to the US morphology of hepatic AE lesions. The sonomorphological findings were grouped according to a five-part classification scheme. Application of the new classification resulted in the following distribution of sonomorphological patterns among the patients examined: hailstorm (54.1%); pseudocystic (13.5%); ossification (13.0%); hemangioma-like (8.1%); and metastasis-like (6.5%). Only 4.9% of lesions could not be assigned to a sonomorphological pattern. The sonomorphological classification proposed in the present study facilitates the diagnosis, interpretation and comparison of hepatic alveolar echinococcosis in routine practice and in the context of scientific studies.