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Ann Surg. 1987 Feb;205(2):111-8.

Proximal bile duct cancer. Quality of survival.


A retrospective study of 97 patients with proximal bile duct cancer treated at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center was conducted to determine the benefits of different operative treatments. Eighty-nine patients were divided into three treatment groups: Group I, curative resection (29 patients); Group II, palliative resection (13 patients) and bypasses (8 patients); and Group III, operative intubation (39 patients). Two patients died before operation and six patients were treated without operation by percutaneous biliary decompression. High morbidity rate (53.8%) and mortality rate (69.2%) were encountered in 13 patients who had hepatic resection. Survival rates of the three treatment groups were comparable. For the 64 patients closely monitored after discharge, quality of survival was assessed according to six parameters: frequency of hospitalization for cholangitis; catheter-related problems; the percentage of days hospitalized; duration of jaundice; antibiotic requirements; and analgesic needs. Group I patients had the best qualitative survival, whereas Group II patients had the worst result when compared with either Group I (p less than 0.001) or Group III (p less than 0.005). Curative resection is recommended when it can be done without a concomitant hepatic resection. When noncurable disease is found on examination, operative intubation after dilatation is the preferred palliative measure.

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