Malignant masquerade at the hilum of the liver
Mitral Valve Insufficiency
Eight patients with biliary obstruction and a pre-operative diagnosis of a neoplastic lesion at the confluence of the hepatic ducts were found postoperatively to have benign disease. Cholangiography was highly suggestive of a malignant stricture in all patients. Angiography performed in six patients indicated that the lesions were potentially resectable. Seven patients underwent elective surgery; in six the ductal confluence including the lesion was removed, without mortality. Six patients are alive, five of them totally asymptomatic, in a median follow-up of 32 months. Many patients with hilar strictures are treated for what appears radiologically to be a neoplastic lesion. Since treatment often involves the placement of an endoprosthesis or palliative surgery, without histological diagnosis, some of these patients with benign disease are likely to be treated inappropriately, unless they are considered for a curative resection.