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Clin Microbiol Rev. 2004 Jul;17(3):540-52, table of contents.

Clonorchiasis and cholangiocarcinoma: etiologic relationship and imaging diagnosis.

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Department of Radiology and Institute of Radiation Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 28 Yongon-dong, Chongno-gu, Seoul 110-744, Korea.


Despite a gradual decrease in prevalence, clonorchiasis is still prevalent in East Asia. A large and compelling body of evidence links clonorchiasis and cholangiocarcinoma, although the mechanisms involved are not completely understood. Clonorchiasis induces biliary epithelial hyperplasia and metaplasia, and this could facilitate at least one stage of the carcinogenesis, which is promoting effect. In areas of endemic infection, more clonorchiasis cases are now diagnosed incidentally during radiological examinations such as cholangiography, ultrasonography, and computed tomography. Radiological findings are regarded as pathognomonic for clonorchiasis since they reflect the unique pathological changes of this disorder. These radiological examinations currently play important roles in the diagnosis, staging, and decision-making process involved in the treatment of cholangiocarcinoma. The morphological features and radiological findings of clonorchiasis-associated cholangiocarcinoma are essentially combinations of the findings for the two diseases. The morphological features of clonorchiasis- associated cholangiocarcinoma, observed in radiological examinations, do not differ from those of the usual cholangiocarcinoma. In patients diagnosed with or suspected to have clonorchiasis, radiological findings should be carefully scrutinized for occult cholangiocarcinoma.

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