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Advances in diagnosis and treatment of hilar cholangiocarcinoma – a review

Geng Zhimin, Hidayatullah Noor, Zheng Jian-Bo, Wang Lin, Rajiv Kumar Jha

Xi'an, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2013; 19:648-656

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.889379

Available online:

Published: 2013-08-07

Hilar cholangiocarcinoma (HC) is a rare tumor that causes devastating disease. In the late stages, this carcinoma primarily invades the portal vein and metastasizes to the hepatic lobes; it is associated with a poor prognosis. HC is diagnosed by its clinical manifestation and results of imaging techniques such as ultrasound, computed tomography, magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography, endoscopic retrograde cholangiography, and percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography. Preoperative hepatic bile drainage can improve symptoms associated with insufficient liver and kidney function, coagulopathy, and jaundice. Surgical margin-negative (R0) resection, including major liver resection, is the most effective and potentially curative treatment for HC. If the tumor is not resected, then liver transplantation with adjuvant management can improve survival. We conducted a systematic review of developments in imaging studies and major surgical hepatectomy for HC with positive outcomes regarding quality of life.

Keywords: Liver Transplantation, Klatskin's Tumor - therapy, Cholangiocarcinoma - therapy, Bile Ducts, Intrahepatic - pathology, Bile Duct Neoplasms - therapy, Neoplasm Staging