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[Predict the effect of the number of positive preoperative serum tumor markers on the surgical method and prognosis of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma patients based on mediation analysis].

Objectives: To investigate the effect of the number of positive preoperative serological tumor markers on the surgical approach and prognosis of patients with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. Methods: This is a retrospective case-series study. Data from 548 patients with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma after radical resection from October 2010 to April 2019 were retrospectively collected in 10 hospitals of China. There were 277 males and 271 females with an age of (57.8±10.2)years(range:23 to 84 years). Four hundred and twenty-six patients(77.7%) had at least one positive preoperative serum tumor marker. The data collection included the results of 4 preoperative serological tumor markers,other preoperative indicators(5 prodromal symptoms, 6 medical history,8 preoperative serological indicators,5 preoperative imaging indicators,and 14 preoperative pathological examination indicators),baseline data (gender and age),surgical methods,and prognostic follow-up data. Four preoperative results of serologic tumor marker and surgical procedure were converted into categorical variables. The number of positive preoperative serum tumor markers was used as the treatment variable,the surgical method was used as the mediating variable,and the survival time was used as the outcome variable. Univariate and multivariate analysis were used to screen for other preoperative indicators which were independent factors that influenced the surgical procedure and the prognosis of patients as covariates to analyze the mediating effect. Results: Of the 548 patients included in the study, 176 patients (32.1%) underwent partial hepatectomy,151 patients(27.5%) underwent hemihepatectomy, and 221 patients(40.3%) underwent partial hepatectomy or hemihepatectomy combined with other treatments. The results of the univariate and multivariate analysis showed that the number of positive serum tumor markers,intrahepatic bile duct dilatation,portal vein invasion,pathological differentiation,pathological type,vascular invasion,T stage,N stage and maximum tumor diameter were independent factors influencing the surgical procedure(all P <0.05). Intrahepatic bile duct dilatation,pathological differentiation and T stage were independent prognostic factors for patients with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma(all P <0.05). Intrahepatic bile duct dilatation,differentiation and T stage were included as covariates in the mediation effect model. The results showed that the number of positive serum tumor markers before surgery had a negative predictive effect on the survival time of patients with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma ( β =-0.092, P =0.039),and had a positive predictive effect on the surgical method ( β =0.244, P <0.01). The number of positive serum tumor markers had a negative predictive effect on the survival time of patients with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma ( β =-0.151, P =0.002). Direct and indirect effects accounted for 71.3% and 28.7% of total effects,respectively. Conclusions: The higher the positive number of preoperative tumor markers,the worse the prognosis of patients with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. The number of positive cells not only directly affects the prognosis of patients,but also indirectly affects the prognosis of patients by affecting the surgical method.

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