Nonoperative approach to hilar cancer determined by the atrophy-hypertrophy complex
Twenty-seven of 135 patients with malignant hilar stricture who had associated liver atrophy or hypertrophy or both were treated by the percutaneous insertion of an endoprosthesis in the hypertrophied lobe only. The procedure was successful in 25 patients. Three patients died within 30 days of drainage. Procedure-related nonfatal complications occurred in seven patients. Effective decompression was accomplished in 21 patients, with complete relief of jaundice in 15. Late complications were experienced by 10 patients. The median total hospital stay was 22 days. Thirteen patients survived from 6 weeks to 12 months (median 5 months), 8 were alive from 3 to 18 months (median 8 months), and 1 patient was lost to follow-up. On the available evidence, we suggest that the preoperative demonstration of the atrophy-hypertrophy complex in jaundiced patients with irresectable hilar cancer is an indication for nonoperative therapy. Patients without the atrophy-hypertrophy complex and those with the complex but associated nonneoplastic disease are likely to fare better with surgical decompression and direct mucosa-to-mucosa anastomosis.