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Surgery. 2001 Oct;130(4):584-90; discussion 590-2.

A single center experience with extrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Division of Transplantation, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio 45267-0558, USA.



Few large Western series on cholangiocarcinoma have been reported in the literature. We reviewed 40 consecutive cases of extrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas referred to a single center.


From 1992 until 2000, 40 patients with extrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas were evaluated. The charts of all patients were reviewed to evaluate predictors of survival. Survival was calculated with the Kaplan-Meier method.


Forty patients were referred for management of extrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas. Tumors were located in the distal common duct in 3 (7.5%), mid duct in 5 (12.5%), and at the bifurcation in 32 (80%). Surgical resection was attempted in 32 (80%) patients and was curative in 9 (22.5%), palliative in 11 (27.5%), and diagnostic in 12 (30%). Mean survival for all patients was 21.1 +/- 5.1 months and on the basis of tumor stage was 71.4 +/- 15.4, 39.7 +/- 10.6, 19.2 +/- 2.9, 3.9 +/- 1.8, and 6.9 +/- 1.3 months for stages I, II, III, IVA, and IVB, respectively. Mean survival was 51.1 +/- 13.5 months versus 10 +/- 1.8 months in those with curative and noncurative resections, respectively. The presence of a portal mass was associated with a reduction in mean survival from 28.4 +/- 7.2 months to 6.0 +/- 1.9 months.


Extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma remains a dismal disease with only a 22.5% chance of a curative surgical resection, achieving a 5-year survival rate of 44.4%. Only the absence of a portal mass was predictive of a possible curative resection and long-term survival.

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