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Albendazole for the treatment of human echinococcosis: a review of comparative clinical trials



Albendazole for the treatment of human echinococcosis: a review of comparative clinical trials



American Journal of the Medical Sciences 334(3): 171-179



Background: Albendazole has been used in various ways in the treatment of cystic echinococcosis (CE). Methods: We reviewed the available evidence regarding the role of albendazole for the treatment of patients with CE. The available comparative clinical trials (randomized or not) that examined the use of albenclazole in CE were identified from the PubMed and the ISI Web of Science databases. Relevant data from the trials were extracted and evaluated. Results: Thirteen studies were included in the review. Albendazole is superior to placebo for inoperable, symptomatic patients (I study). In addition, in 4 trials that tested albendazole as a preoperative adjuvant therapy, the drug resulted in degeneration of hydatid cysts at the time of surgery in a considerable proportion of patients. Furthermore, combined therapy with albenclazole and PAIR (Puncture, Aspiration, Injection of scolicidal agent, and Re-aspiration) technique was found more effective than albendazole or PAIR treatment alone, in a randomized controlled trial examining this issue. Finally, although existing evidence shows some superiority for albendazole compared to mebendazole, there is no definite proof about this. Conclusions: Although the available comparative trials provide considerable evidence for the role of albendazole in patients with CE, there are some important clinical questions that remained unanswered by the studies. One of them is whether the combination of albendazole with praziquantel is superior to albendazole alone when both effectiveness and drug toxicity are taken into account. Also, further studies should also compare the combination of albendazole/ PAIR with albendazole/surgery focusing on both short and long term outcomes.

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Accession: 029951306

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PMID: 17873530

DOI: 10.1097/MAJ.0b013e31814252f8


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