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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1995 Dec;165(6):1427-31.

Imaging of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma: 1. Peripheral cholangiocarcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.


Cholangiocarcinoma is the second most common primary hepatic malignant tumor after hepatocellular carcinoma, accounting for 5-30% of all primary hepatic malignant tumors [1]. Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas can be classified as peripheral cholangiocarcinoma, which originates from an interlobular biliary duct, or as hilar cholangiocarcinoma, which originates from a main hepatic duct or from the bifurcation of the common hepatic duct. Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas account for only about half of cholangiocarcinomas, and this pictorial essay focuses only on the peripheral form of the disease. Clinically, therapeutically, and radiologically, these two types of cholangiocarcinomas differ. Features suggestive of the diagnosis of peripheral cholangiocarcinoma can be shown by sonography, CT, and MR imaging. Cholangiography and angiography have a limited role in evaluating this neoplasm that manifests as a focal mass. This essay reviews the appearances of peripheral cholangiocarcinoma and discusses the various imaging techniques that can be used to evaluate this unusual tumor that is often resectable and potentially curable.

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