Klatskin tumor (hilar bile duct carcinoma) is a cholangiocellular carcinoma located on the so-called hepatic fork, ie the bifurcation of the bile ducts. Here you read everything important to the Klatskin tumor.
Klatskin’s tumor: occurrence
The Klatskin tumor is a special form of bile duct carcinoma. It is located on the so-called Hepatikusgabel, where the left and right liver pass to the common liver passage unite. Therefore, it is also called bifurcation carcinoma or carcinoma of the hepatic fork. Most patients with a Klatskin’s tumor are between 60 and 70 years old.
Among the previously known risk factors that favor the development of Klatskin’s tumor are gallstones that are located in the liver, and the so-called Caroli syndrome. In Caroli syndrome, the bile ducts of patients are dilated.
Klatskin’s tumor: symptoms and diagnosis
Frequently, patients with a Klatskin’s tumor initially do not notice their illness. Only when the tumor gets bigger, complaints occur. These include jaundice (jaundice) and a painlessly enlarged gallbladder under the last right rib. In addition, there is often a heavy weight loss.
As with cholangiocellular carcinomas located elsewhere in the bile ducts, physicians use a variety of examination methods to diagnose a Klatskin’s tumor. These include taking blood and examining the blood for changes in liver and gall levels. Frequently, an ultrasound examination of the abdomen (abdominal ultrasound) is made. In addition, the bile ducts can be visualized with the help of contrast agents in the X-ray and possible narrowing of the bile ducts by tumors such as a Klatskin tumor can be detected.
Klatskin’s tumor: prognosis and therapy
Overall, the Klatskin tumor prognosis is very poor. When a Klatskin tumor is diagnosed by a doctor, it can often no longer be operated on. Because he has usually grown strong when the patients notice the first symptoms. The Klatskin tumor life expectancy is very low. Five years after the diagnosis, fewer than five percent of patients still live.
If surgery is still possible, the tumor is removed together with the common liver canal, the hepatic fork and the left and right liver passages. If necessary, the surgeon also removes parts of the liver.
If the Klatskin’s tumor can not be operated on, palliative treatment is started. “Palliative” means that the patient’s complaints are best alleviated by the therapy, even if he can not be cured. Thus the bile despite Klatskin tumor flows, so-called stents are inserted into the bile ducts, small tubes that keep the biliary tract open.