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Challenges in Diagnosing and Reporting Cholangiocarcinoma.

Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma is a challenge to the practicing surgical pathologist for several reasons. It is rare in many parts of the world, and thus practical exposure may be limited. Related to the fact of its rarity is the fact that more common tumors which frequently metastasize to the liver can be morphologically indistinguishable (eg, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma). Immunohistochemical testing is generally non-contributory in this context. Other difficulties arise from the protean morphologic manifestations of cholangiocarcinoma (ie, small duct vs. large duct) and the existence of combined cholangiocarcinoma and hepatocellular carcinoma. These, and other issues of concern to the practicing diagnostic pathologist are discussed herein.

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