Impact of histopathological type on the prognosis of ampullary carcinoma: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Eur J Surg Oncol. 2023 Feb;49(2):306-315. doi: 10.1016/j.ejso.2022.10.001. Epub 2022 Oct 9.


Histologically, ampullary carcinomas (ACs) can be classified into intestinal (INT-AC) and pancreatobiliary (PB-AC) subtypes. However, the prognostic implications of these subtypes remain unclear. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of the histopathologic phenotype of ACs on survival following pancreaticoduodenectomy. We searched PubMed, Embase, and Medline for studies published in English from 1994 to 2021. A meta-analysis was performed using Review Manager 5.3. The primary endpoint was overall survival (OS). We identified 3,890 articles; of these, 37 articles involving 3,455 participants (1,659 INT-ACs and 1,796 PB-ACs) were included. Patients in the PB-ACs group had significantly shorter OS than those in the INT-ACs group (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.79, 95% confidence interval [95% CI]: 1.51-2.13, p < 0.001, I2 = 61%). A similar tendency was observed in the immunohistochemistry staining group (HR: 1.76, 95% CI: 1.33-2.33, p < 0.001, I2 = 67%), which included 24 studies and 1,638 patients, and the non-immunohistochemistry group (HR: 1.84, 95% CI: 1.53-2.22, p = 0.04, I2 = 46%), which included 13 studies and 1,817 patients. Subgroup analysis revealed that patients with PB-AC had higher frequencies of advanced (III, IV) and pT3-4 stage AC, lymph node metastasis, poorly differentiated tumor, positive surgical margins, lymphovascular invasion, and perineural invasion, than those with INT-AC. Patients with PB-AC had a significantly shorter OS than those with INT-AC due to a higher aggressiveness. Because the histopathologic subtype is a major prognostic factor in patients with resected AC, routine histopathologic classification should be considered even in clinical settings without immunohistochemistry.

Keywords: Ampulla of vater cancer; Intestinal type; Pancreatobiliary type.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ampulla of Vater* / pathology
  • Common Bile Duct Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Pancreaticoduodenectomy
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models