Author(s): Redaelli CA, Bchler MW, Schilling MK, Krhenbhl L, Ruchti C,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Mirizzi syndrome is a rare complication of long-standing cholelithiasis. It is defined as obstructive jaundice caused by external compression of the common hepatic duct by an impacted stone in the gallbladder neck. Gallstone disease and cholelithiasis-associated chronic biliary inflammation may play a causative role in the pathogenesis of gallbladder carcinoma. The purpose of this study was to investigate the coincidence of gallbladder carcinoma associated with Mirizzi syndrome. Furthermore, the diagnostic value of elevated CA 19-9 levels as indicator for a coincidental gallbladder carcinoma in this syndrome was studied. METHODS: Patient demographics, clinical findings, laboratory data, results of diagnostic studies, pathologic reports, and intraoperative findings of 1579 patients undergoing cholecystectomy were obtained from patient records and were retrospectively studied. Only patients with proven Mirizzi syndrome (i.e., extrinsic mechanical compression of the common hepatic duct by impacted gallstones, associated chronic cholecystitis, and a history of jaundice) were included in this study. RESULTS: Eighteen cases of Mirizzi syndrome (1.0\%) out of 1759 cholecystectomies performed between January 1986 and March 1995 were identified. The seven male patients and 11 female patients had an average age of 74.8 years (range, 32 to 87 years). In five of these patients (27.8\%) coincidental cases of gallbladder carcinoma were detected. The incidence of unsuspected malignancies in long-standing gallstone disease was 36 (2\%) of 1759 and was statistically significantly different (p < 0.001) from the incidence in patients with Mirizzi syndrome (27.8\%, 5 of 18). No significant difference was noted in age, gender, duration of jaundice, and type of lesions between these two groups. Tumor-associated antigen CA 19-9 level was elevated in 12 patients with Mirizzi syndrome, but it was significantly higher (p < 0.0001) in all five patients with coincidental gallbladder neoplasm and peaked at 1000 units/ml. All patients diagnosed with gallbladder carcinoma died within 18 months after operation. CONCLUSIONS: There is high association of gallbladder cancer in Mirizzi syndrome. Elevated CA 19-9 levels in this syndrome are indicative of a coincidental gallbladder malignancy. Because of this high coincidence of Mirizzi syndrome and gallbladder cancer we recommend an intraoperative frozen section of the gallbladder in all patients presenting with Mirizzi syndrome.
This article was published in Surgery
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy