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Endoscopy. 2009 Nov;41(11):959-64. doi: 10.1055/s-0029-1215178. Epub 2009 Oct 2.

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiography versus peroral cholangioscopy to evaluate intraepithelial tumor spread in biliary cancer.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo 060-8638, Japan.



Localized-type bile duct carcinoma (LBDC) is often accompanied by extensive intraepithelial tumor spread (ITS) of 2 cm or more, which makes radical resection more difficult. This retrospective case review compares the diagnostic accuracy of endoscopic retrograde cholangiography (ERC) and peroral cholangioscopy (POCS) to detect ITS beyond the visible LBDC.


Forty-four consecutive patients with LBDC diagnosed between April 2004 and October 2008 who underwent radical resection with histopathological analysis were included in this study. Extensive ITS was found histopathologically in one-third of the cases (32 %). The outcome parameters were the presence or absence of extensive ITS and the extent of extensive ITS proximal and distal to the main tumor.


In six cases it was not possible to pass the cholangioscope through the tumor sites. ERC correctly identified the presence of extensive ITS in 11/14 cases and did not yield any false-positive results. The three cases in which ERC was negative were all correctly identified by POCS plus biopsy since the cholangioscope could be passed in all three cases. The extent of extensive ITS was correctly diagnosed by ERC alone, ERC with POCS, and ERC with POCS plus mapping biopsy in 22 %, 77 %, and 100 % of cases, respectively.


The presence of extensive ITS was correctly detected in 80 % of cases by ERC alone. POCS with mapping biopsy provided perfect diagnostic accuracy not only of the presence or absence but also of the extent of extensive ITS. However, POCS has the limitation that the cholangioscope cannot be passed through the tumor sites in approximately 15 % of cases.

Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart. New York.

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