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Pathol Int. 2004 Jun;54(6):440-5.

Liver metastasis from rectal cancer with prominent intrabile duct growth.

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  • 1Department of Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Graduate School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.


Intrabiliary growth of liver metastases from colorectal cancer has rarely been studied. A surgically resected case of a metastatic liver tumor with prominent intrabiliary growth derived from rectal cancer is reported. The patient was a 62-year-old man who had received a low anterior resection for rectal cancer in March 2000. He was re-admitted due to obstructive jaundice in January 2003, and was diagnosed with hepatic malignancy in segment II of the liver with an intrabiliary tumor extending from the intrahepatic bile duct of segment II to the common hepatic duct. He underwent a left hepatectomy, a partial resection of segment VI, and an extrahepatic bile duct resection with reconstruction of the biliary tract. In the resected specimen, there were whitish tumors of 3 cm and 1.5 cm in diameter in segments II and VI, respectively, and an intrabiliary tumor originating from the main tumor in segment II extended to the common hepatic duct. Both the liver tumors and the intrabiliary tumor consisted of a well- to moderately differentiated adenocarcinoma, which showed the same histological features as the rectal cancer. The immunohistochemical findings strongly supported that these tumors, including the intrabiliary growth, were liver metastasis from the rectal cancer. The intrabiliary invasion and growth of metastatic liver tumors has generally been overlooked, notwithstanding their frequently observed biological behavior. The present case is informative, and further investigation into this type of metastatic liver tumor may be warranted.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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