Medline ® Abstract for Reference 3
Management of hilar biliary strictures.
Larghi A, Tringali A, Lecca PG, Giordano M, Costamagna G
Am J Gastroenterol. 2008;103(2):458.
Biliary strictures at the liver hilum are caused by a heterogeneous group of benign and malignant conditions. In the absence of a clear-cut benign etiology, i.e. bile duct damage during surgery, hilar biliary strictures remain a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge for which a multidisciplinary approach is often necessary. A definitive diagnosis can be achieved in only 40-60% of the patients, while in all the other cases strictures are treated as though they are malignant until surgical pathology determines otherwise. Surgical resection is the only treatment that prolongs survival in patients with malignant strictures. Because these tumors frequently extend longitudinally via the hepatic ducts into the liver parenchyma, partial hepatic resection has been gradually added to biliary resection to ensure tumor-free surgical margins. For unresectable cases, endoscopic stenting of biliary obstruction is considered the preferred palliation modality to relieve pruritus, cholangitis, pain and jaundice, while the percutaneous approach has been reserved for cases of failure. Other modalities of treatment such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and photodynamic therapy currently remain investigational. For benign post surgical hilar strictures, surgical repair can be difficult and requires specific skills and experience. As an alternative, a multi-stent technique with endoscopic placement of an increasing number of stents over time until complete resolution of the stricture has been proposed.
Digestive Endoscopy Unit, UniversitàCattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy.