Obstructive jaundice secondary to hepatocellular carcinoma

Surg Oncol. 1995;4(6):303-8. doi: 10.1016/s0960-7404(10)80042-8.


This prospective study aimed to identify different groups of patients with the rare pathology of biliary obstruction caused by hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Patients were evaluated with blood tests, chest radiography, ultrasound of the liver and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography/percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography. Patients who were potentially operable were further assessed with selective hepatic angiography and computed tomography (CT). Of the 38 patients with obstructive jaundice secondary to HCC, the levels of obstruction were extrahepatic in 19 patients and intrahepatic in 19 patients. The clinical presentations and blood biochemistry were similar in these two groups of patients. "Curative' resection was significantly more common in extrahepatic obstruction (8/19) than in intrahepatic obstruction (0/19) (chi 2 with Yates correction P = 0.001). All non-resectable tumours, except in four patients with terminally ill disease, were palliated with stents. Survival in patients who had "curative' liver resection was significantly better than in those who had no resection (median survival 25.3 vs. 2.1 months, log-rank test P = 0.004). Patients with extrahepatic biliary obstruction secondary to HCC had a better chance of being treated by liver resection, which resulted in a significantly improved survival rate compared to patients with intrahepatic obstruction.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / complications*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / physiopathology
  • Cholestasis / diagnosis
  • Cholestasis / etiology*
  • Cholestasis / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / complications*
  • Liver Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Palliative Care / methods*
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Survival Rate