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Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2010 Jul;22(7):886-8.

Papillary adenoma arising in the left hepatic duct: an unusual tumour in an uncommon location.

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Department of Hepatobiliary and Transplant Surgery, St James' University Hospital, Leeds, Yorkshire, UK.


Bile duct adenomas are rare tumours that arise more frequently in the distal extrahepatic biliary tree. We report the case of a papillary adenoma arising at the junction of the common and left hepatic ducts and review the available literature on this rare entity. A 73-year-old lady presented with a history of mild weight loss and vague upper abdominal pain. Routine blood tests revealed an elevated c-glutaryl transferase, and an ultrasound scan showed gross dilatation of the intrahepatic and extrahepatic biliary tree. Subsequent radiological imaging confirmed biliary dilatation and identified tumour within the left and common hepatic ducts with the provisional diagnosis of cholangiocarcinoma. At laparotomy, there was no evidence of extraductal tumour, and choledochoscopy showed a papillary lesion within the common hepatic and proximal left hepatic ducts. The tumour was excised and the biliary tree was reconstructed. Histological evaluation of the resected specimen confirmed a papillary adenoma with mild dysplasia. This case illustrates that not all biliary tumours are cholangiocarcinomas and referral to a hepatopancreaticobiliary unit for investigation and treatment is mandatory for all cases of obstructive jaundice.

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