Malignancy in choledochal cysts

Yi Yin Jan*, Han Ming Chen, Miin Fu Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

58 Scopus citations


Background/Aims: Malignancy in choledochal cysts is a rare condition. This study presents our experience with this condition, with emphasis on the clinical presentation, management and outcome. Methodology: Subjects included 80 adults with choledochal cysts treated from January 1979 to December 1995. Of these patients, 8 were found to have malignancy in the cyst and formed the basis of this study. Results: Four patients had synchronous and 4 had metachronous carcinoma lesions arising in the choledochal cyst. The clinical presentation was: biliary tract infection in 5 patients, gastric outlet obstruction in 2 and right upper quadrant pain and body weight loss in 1. Operations for bile duct malignancy included total excision in 2 patients, choledochotomy with T-tube drainage in 2 patients, gastrojejunostomy in 2 patients, percutaneous transhepatic biliary drainage and gastrojejunostomy in 1 patient and metastatic lymph node biopsy only in 1. One patient died due to septic shock within 30 days of the operation (operative mortality). Postoperative survival time ranged from 4-13 months with a mean of 6.2 months. Conclusions: The frequency of malignancy in the choledochal cysts was 10% in the present series. Malignancy in the choledochal cyst should be highly suspected in patients with cholangitis symptoms, body weight loss and anemia. Prognosis in this disease entity is poor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-340
Number of pages4
Issue number32
StatePublished - 2000


  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Choledochal cyst
  • Total excision


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