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J Natl Cancer Inst. 2006 Jun 21;98(12):873-5.

Impact of classification of hilar cholangiocarcinomas (Klatskin tumors) on the incidence of intra- and extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma in the United States.

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  • 1Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, EPS 7084, MSC 7234 6120 Executive Blvd., Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Cholangiocarcinomas are topographically categorized as intrahepatic or extrahepatic by the International Classification of Diseases for Oncology (ICD-O). Although hilar cholangiocarcinomas (Klatskin tumors) are extrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas, the second edition of the ICD-O (ICD-O-2) assigned them a histology code 8162/3, Klatskin, which was cross-referenced to intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. Recent studies in the United States that included this code (8162/3, Klatskin) with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma reported an increasing incidence of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma and a decreasing incidence of extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. To investigate the impact of this misclassification on site-specific cholangiocarcinoma incidence rates, we calculated annual percent changes (APCs) with data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program using a Poisson regression model that was age-adjusted to the year 2000 U.S. population. All statistical tests were two-sided. During 1992-2000, when SEER used ICD-O-2, 1710 intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas, 1371 extrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas, and 269 hilar cholangiocarcinomas identified by code 8162/3, Klatskin were diagnosed. Ninety-one percent (246 of 269) of the hilar cholangiocarcinomas were incorrectly coded as intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas, resulting in an overestimation of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma incidence by 13% and underestimation of extrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas incidence by 15%. However, even after the exclusion of tumors that were coded to the histology code 8162/3, Klatskin, age-adjusted annual intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma incidence increased during this period (APC = 4%, 95% confidence interval = 2% to 6%, P<.001).

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