TREATMENT OF HEPATIC CYSTIC ECHINOCOCCOSIS OF PATIENTS FROM THE SOUTHEASTERN RHODOPE REGION
TREATMENT OF HEPATIC CYSTIC ECHINOCOCCOSIS OF PATIENTS FROM THE SOUTHEASTERN RHODOPE REGION OF BULGARIA IN 2004-2013: A COMPARISON OF CURRENT PRACTICES WITH EXPERT RECOMMENDATIONS Marin Muhtarov, Iskra Rainova, and Francesca Tamarozzi
Abstract. Cystic echinococcosis (CE) is a clinically complex chronic parasitic disease, management options for which include surgery, percutaneous treatments, and treatment with albendazole (ABZ) for active cysts, and the “Watch-and-Wait” approach for uncomplicated, inactive cysts. We examined, retrospectively, the clinical management of 334 patients with hepatic CE from the southeastern Rhodope region of Bulgaria between 2004 and 2013. Cysts were reclassified according to the World Health Organization Informal Working Group on Echinococcosis (WHO-IWGE) on the basis of ultrasound reports and images. The majority (62.3%) of uncomplicated cysts were CE1, 66% of which were treated surgically. Of all interventions, 5% were performed on inactive uncomplicated CE4–CE5 cysts. About half (47.6%) of these cysts were therefore treated inappropriately, exposing patients to unnecessary treatment-related risks and the health system to unnecessary costs. No management change was observed after the publication of the WHOIWGE Expert Consensus recommendations in 2010. In Bulgaria, ABZ is still used in interrupted cycles as this is reimbursed, and peri-interventional chemoprophylaxis was not administered in the majority of surgical patients. Efforts are needed to introduce the WHO-IWGE classification and management recommendations and to encourage reception of state-of-the-art practices by public health regulatory bodies to improve patient quality of care and optimization of health resources.