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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 71

of 'Cholangioscopy and pancreatoscopy'

Tumor vessel: a valuable cholangioscopic clue of malignant biliary stricture.
Kim HJ, Kim MH, Lee SK, Yoo KS, Seo DW, Min YI
Gastrointest Endosc. 2000;52(5):635.
BACKGROUND: An irregularly dilated and tortuous vessel, the so-called tumor vessel, is considered to be one of the cholangioscopic features that suggest biliary malignancy. This is a prospective analysis of the presence of a tumor vessel as a finding that discriminates between benign and malignant biliary strictures.
METHODS: From August 1997 to August 1998, a total of 63 patients with biliary strictures diagnosed with endoscopic retrograde cholangiography or percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography obtained during percutaneous transhepatic biliary drainage tube placement were included in this study. Strictures were characterized as benign or malignant based on the observation of tumor vessels. The results were compared with those of percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography-guided biopsy and final diagnosis.
RESULTS: Forty-one patients were confirmed to have malignant strictures and 22 had benign biliary strictures. Cancer was confirmed by histopathologic evaluation of biopsies in 33 of 41 patients with malignancy (80.4%). Tumor vessel was seen in 25 of 41 patients with malignancy (61%). No patients with benign stricture had tumor vessels. Of the 8 patients with negative percutaneous transhepatic cholangioscopy-guided biopsies but with a final diagnosis of malignancy, 6 had tumor vessels. Combining the observation of tumor vessel and percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography-guided biopsy resulted in a diagnosis of malignancy in 39 of 41 patients (96%) and significantly increased the rate of preoperative diagnosis when compared with percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography-guided biopsy or presence of tumor vessel alone (p<0.05).
CONCLUSION: The presence of tumor vessel may be a valuable cholangioscopic finding that indicates the presence of a malignant biliary stricture. The combination of tumor vessel observation and percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography-guided biopsy may improve the preoperative diagnosis of malignancy.
Department of Internal Medicine, Myongji Hospital, College of Medicine, Kwandong University, Koyang, Korea.