Medline: 2008087

Journal of Surgical Oncology 46(4): 215-221, 1991.

Primary carcinoma of the gallbladder.

Chao T, Greager JA


Seventy-four patients with primary carcinoma of the gallbladder, diagnosed over 18 years from 1969 to 1987, were studied retrospectively. The most common presenting complaint was abdominal pain, followed by jaundice and weight loss. Surgery was performed in 61 patients and of these patients, only two had accurate preoperative diagnosis which was made by ultrasonography. Twelve of the 13 patients who were treated medically had the disease diagnosed at autopsy. One of the 13 patients had the diagnosis of gallbladder cancer by the findings of ultrasonography and abdominal computed tomography (CT) scanning. The resectability of the surgically managed group was 36.1%, and the majority of patients with advanced tumors (82.2%) were deemed unresectable. The most common histologic type was adenocarcinoma. Liver was the organ most commonly invaded (76.5%) by direct extension and/or metastases, followed by regional lymph nodes (52.9%). The overall 5-year survival rate was 5.4%. A high index of suspicion of the disease, intraoperative examination of gallbladder specimen, and earlier, more aggressive surgical treatment may improve patient survival.

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