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Alveococcosis is a disease in which the tapeworm Alveococcus multilocularis parasitizes. The disease is extremely difficult, affects the liver, gives metastases to various organs (sometimes even to the brain). Slow development is characteristic, often ends with the death of the patient. The main symptoms of alveococcosis are nausea, a bitter taste in the mouth, itching of the skin, an enlarged liver, and soreness under the ribs on the right.
- What is alveococcosis?
- How can they get infected?
- Alveococcosis of the liver
- Pulmonary alveococcosis
- Renal alveococcosis
- Alveococcosis of the brain
What is alveococcosis?
The nature of the disease is parasitic. Infection occurs after the ingestion of the eggs of the alveococcus. After the primary lesion is formed, the localization in the body is the liver. This pathology is compared with malignant oncology, because there is metastasis and it is difficult to cure the disease.
The disease affects more the younger generation, those people whose profession or hobbies are associated with hunting, animals and picking berries. Also, alveococcosis occurs in babies under 6 years old and in old people.
Echinococcosis and alveococcosis are diseases that are often confused, as they have similar symptoms. Infection occurs through the eggs of parasites. There are significant differences between the larval stages of echinococcus and alveococcus.
The pathology in question (alveococcosis) can grow in the liver, neighboring or distant organs. It looks like a tumor-like process, but spreads slowly, dissolving the surrounding tissues. As a result, obstruction of the biliary tract occurs, the result is jaundice. Echinococcosis, in turn, does not go further, but only leads to the formation of a cyst in the liver, which presses on adjacent organs (more often on the bile ducts) - this gives rise to jaundice. Also, their blockage may be associated with the outpouring of pus in them. A cyst can also break into the peritoneal cavity.
How can they get infected?
The most common ailment occurs in the Northern Hemisphere. In the South, practically none. Often seen in Japan, Germany, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. There are cases in Russia (endemic areas - Kirov region, Bashkortostan, Yakutia, Chukotka, Kamchatka and Western Siberia).
Causes helminthiasis tapeworm alveococcus. It looks like a flatworm, the size of which ranges from 3 to 7 mm. It has a head with 4 suction cups and hooks, 3 segments. One of them, the uterus, contains over 300 eggs. The eggs are surrounded by a strong protective shell. They contain a helminth larva.
The worm will parasitize already in the small intestine of its host. These are wild animals, they are the carriers of infection. Eggs are spread with animal feces, settling on the soil and plants. And then swallowed by an intermediate host. Thus, poorly washed berries can become a source of infection. More often those people who are engaged in skins and catching animals become infected. Sometimes free-range pets also get sick, which entails infection of the owners themselves.
One organism in itself can have more than 10,000 worms. Eggs enter the environment through animal feces. They are spread on paws, by wind, etc. After entering the organism of a living creature, a month later, a sexually mature worm grows in the final host. In humans, the shell of eggs dissolves gastric juice. After that, the larva, which has been released, enters the liver with the blood stream. It is larger than the diameter of the capillary, therefore, getting into the organ, it is retained there and continues its further development. At first it degenerates into a small vesicle, the diameter of which is about 3 mm, then budding occurs and multiple small parasitic tumors are formed.
- diaphragm area;
- adrenal glands and kidneys;
- aorta, etc.
If the tumor enters the vessels, then it is then carried with the blood and lymph to the lymph nodes and to distant organs, for example, to the brain, then metastasis is diagnosed. This course is very similar to a malignant tumor, the only difference is in slow growth. Alveococcosis can even spread to bones, causing them to deform and fracture.
The disease in humans goes on without symptoms for a long time. In the future, there is:
- bouts of nausea;
- bitter taste in the mouth;
- soreness in the abdomen;
- enlarged liver (hepatomegaly);
The disease develops in stages. There are 4 stages.
- The height of the disease.
- Severe manifestations.
- Terminal stage.
At each stage, there are special signs, depending on the form of the disease.
Alveococcosis of the liver
With alveococcosis of the liver, at the beginning of the pathology, there are no signs. After 5 or more years, weakness, discomfort in the abdomen occurs, and appetite decreases. Here the worms are already large. During the height of the disease, the disease progresses. There is weakness, soreness under the ribs on the right side, there are malfunctions in digestion, periodically belching occurs, constipation alternates with diarrhea.
In the third stage, jaundice occurs. Feces brighten, urine darkens. First, the mucous membranes become yellow, then the skin of the face and body. Itching of the back and limbs appears, which intensifies over time.
When formations grow into veins, varicose veins develop, there is swelling of the legs, bleeding may suddenly open.
At the final stage, there are metastases to other organs. This process is irreversible. There is a sharp weight loss, intoxication and other multiple complications. The man dies soon. Treatment started at the terminal stage can only delay this moment for a short time.
The defeat of the lung occurs with the spread of metastases on them. Germination is observed through the liver tissue and the diaphragmatic region. In this case, there are attacks of coughing (there is pus in the sputum, blotches of blood) and soreness in the sternum.
It has been proven in practice that the disease develops more likely in the lungs of children. This is due to their physiological characteristics.
Pathology is rare, develops secondarily, as a complication. It manifests itself in the form of a deterioration in the general condition, patients complain of severe pain in the lumbar spine, there is severe hyperthermia.
Alveococcosis of the brain
If metastases have gone to brain cells, then the main symptoms are:
- epileptic seizures;
- mental disorder.
Such a complication develops at the last stage of the disease, it is no longer possible to cure it.
To treat larvaceous alveococcosis should be immediate, until metastases begin to go. To get rid of the disease, doctors recommend resorting to radical methods. After the operation, medication is definitely prescribed. If, for some reason, surgical intervention cannot be performed, then they try to cure the disease with drugs. The dose and frequency of admission is determined by the attending physician after the examination. It is important to regularly appear for a consultation with a doctor, since such treatment should be monitored by a specialist all the time. The therapeutic course can take 1 or 5 years, it all depends on the severity of the disease.
The most common drug is Albendazole. In addition to it, symptomatic treatment is prescribed. This is necessary so that all organs and systems begin to function correctly.
Surgical treatment consists in removing the bubbles themselves or part of the affected organ along with the cyst. If there is a total liver damage, then it will have to be transplanted.
During a serious condition and with an extensive parasitic cavity, a marsupialization operation is performed. In front, the edge is cut off, all contents are cleaned from the cavity, after the edges are stitched. Some clinics practice the destruction of parasitic tissues by cryotherapy. After the procedure, the treated affected areas are rejected and the wound heals.
With obstructive jaundice, the bile ducts are stepped to the patient - this improves the person's well-being. If there are fistulas in the bronchi, they are excised along with part of the lung. In the case of the spread of formations to other organs, for example, with single metastases in the brain, if possible, a certain area and the focus itself are removed. The consequences after such operations can be the most unforeseen.
There are also ways to treat alveococcosis with traditional medicine. They should be used in conjunction with medication and only after consultation with your doctor.
This includes using:
- medicinal herbs (tansy, mint, immortelle);
If there is liver damage, then you can start drinking a decoction of tansy. Pour 30 g of chopped raw materials with 500 ml of boiling water and leave for 120 minutes, strain. Drink 100 ml of liquid 45 minutes before meals, four times a day.
Another recipe is based on birch buds, immortelle and mint. Mix all the ingredients in equal quantities (only 30-40 g of raw materials) and pour boiling water over them. Drink the strained broth four times a day, half a glass. For a positive result, treatment must take at least a month.
If a disease is suspected, special tests, laboratory tests (all kinds of immunological reactions) are initially done. In addition, the diagnosis includes:
- abdominal x-ray;
- splenoportography, artiography, or CT;
To identify metastases, an x-ray of the sternum, an MRI of the brain are done, the kidneys are diagnosed for echinococcosis and alveococcosis, the patient is examined by a specialist in the field of endocrinology, etc.
To prevent the occurrence of such helminthiasis, for prevention, all sanitary and hygienic requirements should be observed, measures should be taken to destroy rats and mice, because they often become carriers of the infection. It is also necessary to thoroughly wash all vegetables, fruits and berries. The causative agent of alveococcosis can be located anywhere. If the infection does occur, at the first symptoms, you should immediately seek help from the hospital. Any delay will aggravate the condition, give metastases and lead to irreversible consequences.