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August 1993

Outcomes After Curative Resections of Cholangiocarcinoma

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Gastroenterologic and General Surgery (Drs Nagorney, Donohue, and Farnell) and the Section of Biostatistics (Ms Schleck and Mr Ilstrup), Mayo Clinic and Foundation, Rochester, Minn.

Arch Surg. 1993;128(8):871-878. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1993.01420200045008

Objectives:  To elucidate the clinical and pathologic features of extrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas and to identify prognostic variables in patients treated surgically.

Design:  Retrospective review of clinical records of patients undergoing surgical exploration for cholangiocarcinoma, with univariate and multivariate analyses of the clinical and pathologic factors that influenced patient survival.

Setting:  Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

Study Participants:  One hundred seventy-one patients undergoing operative intervention for diagnostic, palliative, or curative reasons between 1976 and 1985. Follow-up was complete until death or for a minimum of 5 years for surviving patients.

Intervention:  A curative surgical resection was performed in 29% of patients, while the remainder underwent tumor biopsy or a palliative procedure.

Main Outcome Measure:  Patient survival following operative treatment.

Results:  The operative mortality in this patient cohort was 5% and median survival was 13 months. Overall 5-year survival was 16%, with 44% of patients having a curative resection still alive at 5 years. Using univariate analysis, curative resection, tumor stage, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, total bilirubin concentration, lymph node status, liver invasion, tumor morphology, tumor grade, and site of tumor origin were significant determinants of prognosis. Using the Cox proportional hazards model for multivariate analysis, curative resection, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, total bilirubin concentration, and tumor grade were the only variables predictive of patient outcome. A curative resection of a proximal cholangiocarcinoma had a similar chance of providing long-term survival as a curative distal ductal resection.

Conclusions:  Although the tumor extent and the patient's overall health will affect outcome, curative resection for cholangiocarcinoma at all sites should be undertaken since this treatment offers the best chance for long-term survival.(Arch Surg. 1993;128:871-879)

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