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Histol Histopathol. 2002;17(3):851-61. doi: 10.14670/HH-17.851.

Biliary papillary neoplasm of the liver.

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Department of Human Pathology, Kanazawa University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan.


Biliary papillary neoplasia of the liver characterized by intraductal papillary growth of neoplastic biliary epithelia with a fine fibrovascular stalk has been sporadically reported, and includes intraductal growing cholangiocarcinoma and biliary papillomatosis. In addition, biliary papillary dysplasia and in situ and microinvasive carcinoma with papillary configuration reported in hepatolithiasis and in other chronic biliary diseases, could be included in this category. Usually, they arise in the intrahepatic large bile ducts, and the neoplastic and non-neoplastic parts of the intrahepatic biliary tree show saccular and segmental dilatation with mucin hypersecretion. This neoplasia frequently shows intraductal spreading and peribiliary glandular involvement. Acute repeated episodes of cholangitis or obstructive jaundice are a frequent clinical manifestation. Gastroenteric metaplasia with aberrant expression of cytokeratin 20, MUC2, MUC5AC, and/or MUC6, is frequent in the neoplastic parts, and biliary epithelial dysplasia with such metaplasia may give rise to in situ and then invasive carcinoma in hepatolithiasis. Interestingly, this type tends to contain foci of mucinous carcinoma elements, and this element may be predominant (mucinous carcinoma). Some may progress to "mucinous biliary cystadenocarcinoma" without ovarian mesenchymal stroma and with intraluminal continuous growth into the neighboring bile duct lumens. Interestingly, the biliary papillary neoplasm resembles histologically, phenotypically and clinically intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm of the pancreas which is now being established as an infrequent, slow-growing pancreatic neoplasm. Recognition of such biliary papillary neoplasm with respect to the pancreatic equivalent may lead to a better understanding and further studies of the intrahepatic biliary neoplasm.

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