As is generally known, echinococcus disease is produced by the tænia echinococcus, a parasite whose domicile is in the intestines of the dog, sometimes perhaps also of the cat. Its length is four millimeters. It has four joints, the posterior of which is larger than the remaining three together. The implantation of this parasite causes the formation of hydatids, which grow into cysts and secondary proliferative cysts in various organs of the human body, particularly the liver.
The knowledge of the echinococcus disease dates as far back as to the time of Hippocrates, who described a "jecur aquâ repletum" which would open into the abdominal cavity. The same author speaks of an operation on an echinococcus cyst, before which operation adhesions between abdominal wall and cyst should always be produced by the use of artificial moxæ. The true parasitic origin of the disease, however, was not demonstrated until Göze, in
BECK C. ECHINOCOCCUS OF THE LUNGS. JAMA. 1898;XXXI(21):1238–1239. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.92450210039002m
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