Hepatobiliary carcinoma associated with primary sclerosing cholangitis and chronic ulcerative colitis

Aileen Wee, Jurgen Ludwig, Robert J. Coffey, Nicholas F. LaRusso, Russell H. Wiesner

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145 Scopus citations


Hepatobiliary carcinomas were found in eight patients with chronic ulcerative colitis (CUC) and primary sclerosing cholangitis (large-duct PSC; five case) or "pericholangitis" (small-duct PSC; three cases). The tumors were extrahepatic in five cases and intrahepatic in two; in one case the neoplasm affected both liver and gallbladder. The tumors in seven patients were glandular and, sometimes, cystic and papillary; in the remaining patient a combined hepatocellular carcinoma and cholangiocarcinoma was found. The latter tumor seemed to arise from regenerative nodules in secondary biliary cirrhosis complicating PSC. The presence of carcinoma in situ in areas of fibrous cholangitis, the multicentric origin of the tumor, the presence of tumor-free large-duct PSC or small-duct PSC (pericholangitis) at a distance from the carcinomatous areas, and the documentation, in some cases, of long-standing inflammatory hepatobiliary disease prior to the discovery of the tumors would seem to confirm the clinical impression that carcinomas may develop in pre-existing PSC. The appearance of hepatobiliary carcinomas in patients with classic PSC and in patients with pericholangitis supports previous evidence indicating that cholangiographically diagnosed large-duct PSC and histologically diagnosed small-duct PSC (pericholangitis) are manifestations of a shared condition that could be named PSC syndrome. The findings of the present study indicate that the PSC syndrome predisposes patients for the development of bile duct carcinoma. Most patients with CUC and bile duct carcinoma seem to have PSC prior to the development of the hepatobiliary tumor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)719-726
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Pathology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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