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Presentation and Clinical Outcomes of Choledochal Cysts in Children and Adults: A Multi-institutional Analysis.

JAMA Surgery 2015 June
IMPORTANCE: Choledochal cysts (CCs) are rare, with risk of infection and cancer.

OBJECTIVE: To characterize the natural history, management, and long-term implications of CC disease.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A total of 394 patients who underwent resection of a CC between January 1, 1972, and April 11, 2014, were identified from an international multi-institutional database. Patients were followed up through September 27, 2014. Clinicopathologic characteristics, operative details, and outcome data were analyzed from May 1, 2014, to October 14, 2014.

INTERVENTION: Resection of CC.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Management, morbidity, and overall survival.

RESULTS: Among 394 patients, there were 135 children (34.3%) and 318 women (80.7%). Adults were more likely to present with abdominal pain (71.8% vs 40.7%; P < .001) and children were more likely to have jaundice (31.9% vs 11.6%; P < .001). Preoperative interventions were more commonly performed in adults (64.5% vs 31.1%; P < .001), including endoscopic retrograde pancreatography (55.6% vs 27.4%; P < .001), percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (17.4% vs 5.9%; P < .001), and endobiliary stenting (18.1% vs 4.4%; P < .001)). Type I CCs were more often seen in children vs adults (79.7% vs 64.9%; P = .003); type IV CCs predominated in the adult population (23.9% vs 12.0%; P = .006). Extrahepatic bile duct resection with hepaticoenterostomy was the most frequently performed procedure in both age groups (80.3%). Perioperative morbidity was higher in adults (35.1% vs 16.3%; P < .001). On pathologic examination, 10 patients (2.5%) had cholangiocarcinoma. After a median follow-up of 28 months, 5-year overall survival was 95.5%. On follow-up, 13 patients (3.3%), presented with biliary cancer.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Presentation of CC varied between children and adults, and resection was associated with a degree of morbidity. Although concomitant cancer was uncommon, it occurred in 3.0% of the patients. Long-term surveillance is indicated given the possibility of future development of biliary cancer after CC resection.

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