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Revista médica de Chile

versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887


BURGOS SAN JUAN, Luis . Cholangiocarcinoma. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2008, vol.136, n.2, pp.240-248. ISSN 0034-9887.

Cholangiocarcinoma is a malignant lesion of the bile duct epithelium. Its incidence and prevalence are low. It appears from the sixth decade of life and there is slight male predominance. It is most frequently found in the confluence of the hepatic ducts, where it is called hilar cholangiocarcinoma or Klatskin tumor. Its etiology is unknown but there are predisposing conditions and environmental risk factors such as primary sclerosing cholangitis, Caroli's disease, bile duct malformations, industrial toxins and parasitic infections. The classic presentation of cholangiocarcinoma includes jaundice, weight loss and right upper quadrant pain. These, in addition to laboratory exams, endoscopical and imaging procedures, lead to the diagnosis. Hilar cholangiocarcinoma must be distinguished from other malignant or benign causes of biliary obstruction. Cholangiocarcinoma of the distal common bile duct must be differentiated from other periampullary tumors and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma can be confused with a hepatocellular carcinoma. Two classifications are used for clinical staging: TNM and Bismuth-Corlette. The best treatment is the complete surgical excision with negative histological margins, although the resectability index is low. The type and size of surgery depends on the location and extent of the tumor. Patients with unresectable tumors can be subjected to palliative procedures such as biliary-enteric bypass, endoscopic or pecutaneous stent placement. Chemotherapy is not effective. Recently, endoscopic phototherapy has emerged as a better alternative for palliative care

Palabras clave : Bile ducts; intrahepatic; Cholangiocarcinoma; Klatskin's tumor.

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