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J Med Case Rep. 2012 Jun 15;6:157. doi: 10.1186/1752-1947-6-157.

Mirizzi's syndrome masquerading as cholangiocarcinoma: a case report.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Aga Khan University & Hospital, Stadium Road, Karachi, 74800, Pakistan.



Mirizzi's syndrome is a rarely observed disorder that presents with obstructive jaundice. The condition is caused by a stone impacted in the gall bladder neck or cystic duct that impinges on the common hepatic duct, with or without a cholecystocholedochal fistula. The condition is often confused with other serious conditions such as hilar cholangiocarcinoma, which present with similar clinical and imaging findings, and a pre-operative diagnosis may be a serious challenge.


We present the case of a 44-year-old Asian man with Mirizzi's syndrome who was initially diagnosed as having cholangiocarcinoma based on his clinical presentation, raised cancer antigen 19-9 levels and radiological findings. Our patient was diagnosed as having Mirizzi's syndrome intra-operatively and subsequently a cholecystectomy was performed with restoration of biliary drainage. Careful clinical assessment during surgery with the help of intra-operative frozen section helped in establishing the definitive diagnosis and altered the surgical procedure for our patient.


Pre-operative diagnosis of Mirizzi's syndrome could be challenging as the clinical, biochemical and radiological presentation is similar to other conditions causing obstructive jaundice such as choledocholithiasis, bile duct stricture or cholangiocarcinoma. A high index of suspicion and careful surgical assessment may help in establishing a diagnosis and alter the clinical course for our patient.

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