Diagnosis and Treatment of Perihilar Cholangiocarcinoma: A National Survey from the Korean Pancreatobiliary Association

Gut Liver. 2024 Jan 15;18(1):174-183. doi: 10.5009/gnl220413. Epub 2023 Apr 20.


Background/aims: Based on their anatomy, cholangiocarcinomas (CCAs) are classified into intrahepatic, hilar, and distal CCAs. Although the diagnosis and treatment of each type of CCA are thought to be different, real-world data studies on the current practice are limited. Therefore, this study was designed to capture the current practice of diagnosing and treating perihilar CCA in Korea.

Methods: We conducted a survey using an online platform. The questionnaire consisted of 18 questions designed to evaluate the current practice of diagnosing and treating perihilar CCA in Korea. The targets of this survey were biliary endoscopists who are members of the Korean Pancreatobiliary Association.

Results: In total, 119 biliary endoscopists completed the survey. Of the respondents, 89.9% thought that the use of the International Classification of Diseases, 11th Revision (ICD-11) system is necessary to classify CCA. Approximately half of the respondents would recommend surgery or chemotherapy until patients were 80 years of age. For the pathological diagnosis of CCA, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography with biopsy was the most preferred modality. Routine preoperative biliary drainage was performed by 44.5% of the respondents. For operable CCAs, 64.7% of the respondents preferred endoscopic biliary drainage using plastic stents. For palliative biliary drainage, 69.7% of the respondents used plastic stents. For palliative endoscopic biliary drainage using metal stents, 63% of the respondents preferred the stent-in-stent method.

Conclusions: A new coding system using the ICD-11 is needed for classifying CCAs. Guidelines for diagnosing and treating CCA based on the clinical situation in Korea are needed.

Keywords: Cholangiocarcinoma; Diagnosis; Surveys and questionnaires; Treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Bile Duct Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Bile Duct Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Bile Duct Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Bile Ducts, Intrahepatic / surgery
  • Cholangiocarcinoma* / diagnosis
  • Cholangiocarcinoma* / therapy
  • Cholangiopancreatography, Endoscopic Retrograde / methods
  • Drainage / methods
  • Humans
  • Klatskin Tumor* / diagnosis
  • Klatskin Tumor* / therapy
  • Republic of Korea
  • Stents