To elucidate the clinical significance of perineural invasion on bile duct cancer, a clinicopathologic study was performed on 70 resected patients with bile duct carcinoma. The overall incidence of perineural invasion in the resected specimen was 81.4%. There seemed to be no correlation between perineural invasion and site, size of the tumor, and lymph node metastasis. A significant correlation was observed, however, between macroscopic type, microscopic type, depth of invasion, and perineural invasion. Perineural invasion index (PNI) was defined as the ratio between the number of nerve fibers invaded by cancer and the total number of nerve fibers with and without cancer invasion. Perineural invasion index was significantly higher at the center compared with the proximal and distal part of the tumor (p less than 0.001). The 5-year survival rate for patients with perineural invasion was significantly lower (p less than 0.05) than that for those without perineural invasion (67% versus 32%).