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J Am Coll Surg. 2012 Sep;215(3):343-55. doi: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2012.05.025. Epub 2012 Jun 28.

The Blumgart preoperative staging system for hilar cholangiocarcinoma: analysis of resectability and outcomes in 380 patients.

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Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10065, USA.



Complete resection of hilar cholangiocarcinoma (HCCA) is a critical determinant of long-term survival. This study validates a previously reported preoperative clinical T staging system for determining resectability of HCCA.


Consecutive patients with confirmed HCCA treated over an 18-year period were included. Patient demographics, preoperative imaging studies, resection type, margin status, lymph node status, histopathologic findings, morbidity, and outcomes were entered prospectively and analyzed retrospectively; changes in these variables over time were assessed. All patients were placed into 1 of 3 stages based on the extent of ductal involvement by tumor, portal vein compromise, or lobar atrophy.


From March 1991 through December 2008, 380 patients were evaluated. Eighty-five patients had unresectable disease; 295 patients underwent exploration with curative intent. One hundred fifty-seven patients underwent resection: 129 (82.2%) had a concomitant hepatic resection and 120 (76.4%) had an R0 resection. Of the 32 actual 5-year survivors (120 at risk), 30 patients (93.8%) had a concomitant hepatic resection. In patients who underwent an R0 resection, concomitant partial hepatectomy, well-differentiated histology, and negative lymph nodes were independent predictors of long-term survival. In the 376 patients whose disease could be staged, the preoperative clinical T staging system predicted resectability (p < 0.001), metastatic disease (p < 0.001), and R0 resection (p = 0.007).


The preoperative clinical T staging system of Blumgart, defined by the radial and longitudinal tumor extent, accurately predicts resectability of HCCA. The full outcomes benefit of resection is realized only if a concomitant partial hepatectomy is performed.

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