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Gastroenterol Clin Biol. 1987 Dec;11(12):849-55.

[Congenital cystic dilatation of the common bile duct, anomaly of the biliopancreatic junction and cancer of the bile ducts].

[Article in French]

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Service d'Hépato-Gastroentérologie et d'Assistance Nutritive, CHU Hautepierre, Strasbourg.


The choledochus and pancreatic duct ordinarily enter the duodenum either separately or via a common channel located in the duodenal wall. The usual maximal length of the common channel is approximately 0.5 cm. An anomalous junction of the pancreaticobiliary tract is defined by the presence of an unusually long common channel whose length is 1 cm or longer. During the last 8 years, we studied 9 cases of congenital dilatation of the bile duct. Besides the choledochal cyst, all patients had a common channel which measured 1.5 cm or longer. The mean age of patients (6 females, 3 males) was 36.5 years. Three patients had extrahepatic bile tract carcinoma. One patient, a 51-year old man, had gallbladder carcinoma without stones while the two other patients, a 43-year old woman and a 32-year old man, had carcinoma arising from the wall of the cystic dilatation. These two patients had undergone a simple internal drainage procedure 16 and 8 years before, respectively. Our study suggests that the anomalous junction of the pancreaticobiliary tract, an embryonic anomaly which allows the reflux of pancreatic juice into the bile duct and gallbladder, may be responsible for congenital bile duct dilatation and biliary tract carcinoma. Total excision of the cystic dilatation and the gallbladder with hepaticojejunostomy is the appropriate surgical treatment.

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