What is cholangiocarcinoma?

Updated: Apr 13, 2018
  • Author: Mahesh Kumar Neelala Anand, MBBS, DNB, FRCR; Chief Editor: John Karani, MBBS, FRCR  more...
  • Print


Cholangiocarcinoma is a slow-growing malignancy of the bile duct and is the second most common primary hepatic tumor after hepatoma. The cause of bile duct cancer is unclear. Results of some epidemiologic studies have implicated bacteria-induced carcinogens derived from bile salts (eg, lithocholate) as a causative factor in the pathogenesis of cholangiocarcinomas. Biliary ductal calculi occur in 20-50% of patients with cholangiocarcinoma; however, the association of gallstones with cholangiocarcinoma is less marked than it is with carcinoma of the gallbladder. The most common cause of malignant biliary obstruction is pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Gallbladder carcinoma is 9 times more common than bile duct malignancy.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!