Histopathologic differentiation as a prognostic factor in patients with carcinoma of the hepatopancreatic ampulla of Vater

J Int Med Res. 2018 Nov;46(11):4634-4639. doi: 10.1177/0300060518786920. Epub 2018 Jul 20.


Objective: Periampullary carcinomas are a group of neoplasms with variable histopathology that originate from the anatomical junction of different epithelial types including the bile duct, pancreatic duct, and duodenal mucosa. This study was performed to determine whether the histopathologic type of these tumors should be considered an independent prognostic factor.

Methods: We analyzed the specimen histopathology of 37 patients who underwent radical cephalic pancreatoduodenectomy for carcinoma of the ampulla of Vater during a 5-year period. We excluded patients with other tumors with an indication for Whipple's procedure and those in whom R0 resection was not achieved.

Results: The carcinomas of the hepatopancreatic ampulla were intestinal in 23 (62%) patients, pancreatobiliary in 13 (35%), and mixed type in 1 (3%). The analysis demonstrated significantly more advanced local tumor spread, a more aggressive lymph node metastasizing pattern, and more frequent lymphatic and perineural invasion in patients with pancreatobiliary than intestinal and mixed type tumors.

Conclusion: Pancreatobiliary type of ampullary carcinoma is associated with a poorer prognosis than intestinal and mixed types because of its more aggressive behavior. Histopathology should be regarded as an independent predictor of survival and may have therapeutic and prognostic implications for patients.

Keywords: Carcinoma; hepatopancreatic ampulla; histopathology; pancreatoduodenectomy; prognostic factor; survival.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ampulla of Vater / pathology*
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Prognosis