, Volume 59, Issue 1, pp 201-213

Prediction of the Postoperative Prognosis of Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma (ICC): Importance of Preoperatively-Determined Anatomic Invasion Level and Number of Tumors

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Preoperative prediction of the prognosis of patients with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) following surgical treatment remains quite difficult and controversial. We attempted to identify the preoperative and postoperative predictors of the overall survival rates in patients with ICC in order to clarify the appropriate indications for surgical resection of ICC.

Patients and Methods

We retrospectively investigated the clinicopathological features of ICC and outcome of surgical resection in 111 consecutive patients who underwent surgical treatment at our hospital between 1980 and March 2012. Both preoperative factors and operatively confirmed factors were evaluated as potential risk factors for determination of the post-surgical prognosis.


Curative resection (R0) was performed in 72 patients (64.9 %). The 1- and 3-year overall survival rates were 85.0 and 59.7 % in the R0 group. Two preoperative factors [hilar invasion as recognized by computed tomography (HR 3.16, P = 0.020) and multiple intrahepatic tumors (HR 7.09, P = 0.0002)] and two operatively confirmed factors [multiple intrahepatic tumors (HR 9.17, P = 0.0009) and lymph node metastasis as confirmed by final histology (HR 6.41, P = 0.003)] were identified as significant risk factors adversely influencing the overall survival rate after surgery. Furthermore, solitary, small (<5 cm) and peripheral ICCs were associated with a very low probability of lymph node metastasis.


Preoperatively diagnosed hilar invasion, multiple intrahepatic tumors and histologically confirmed lymph node metastasis were the main determinants of an adverse postoperative prognosis in patients with ICC. Lymph node dissection could be omitted for patients with solitary, small and peripheral ICCs.