Background: Very few studies assessed cholangiocarcinoma clinical characteristics. Aim: To evaluate the clinical characteristics of intra-hepatic (IH) and extra-hepatic (EH)-CCA. Methods: We performed a national survey based on a questionnaire. Results: 218 cholangiocarcinomas were observed (47% EH-CCA, 53% IH-CCA) with an age at the diagnosis higher for EH-CCA. Coexistence of cirrhosis or viral cirrhosis was more frequent in IH-CCA than EH-CCA. An incidental asymptomatic presentation occurred in 28% of IH-CCA vs 4% EH-CCA whilst, 74% EH-CCA vs 28% IH-CCA presented with jaundice. 91% of IH-CCA presented as a single intra-hepatic mass, whilst 50% of EH-CCA was peri-hilar. In the diagnostic work-up, 70% of all cholangiocarcinoma cases received at least 3 different imaging procedures. Tissue-proven diagnosis was obtained in 80% cholangiocarcinoma. Open surgery with curative intent was performed in 45% of IH-CCA and 29% EH-CCA. 18% IH-CCA vs 4% EH-CCA did not received treatment. Conclusions: In Italy IH-CCA is managed as frequently as EH-CCA. In comparison to EH-CCA, IH-CCA occurs at younger age and is more frequently associated with cirrhosis and with an incidental asymptomatic presentation. In contrast, most EH-CCAs are jaundiced at the diagnosis. Cholangiocarcinoma diagnostic management is cost- and time-consuming with curative surgical treatment applicable more frequently in IH-CCA.
- Clinical presentation
- Extra-hepatic cholangiocarcinoma
- Intra-hepatic cholangiocarcinoma
- Risk factors
ASJC Scopus subject areas