Background: An association between inflammation and patient prognosis has been reported in various types of cancer. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of preoperative biliary drainage-related inflammation in patients with biliary tract cancer. Methods: The clinical data of 97 patients who underwent surgery for extrahepatic bile duct cancer between February 2002 and September 2014 were analyzed, and the prognostic significance of tube-obstructive cholangitis after preoperative biliary drainage and pancreatitis after endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) was evaluated. Results: Eighty-four (86.6 %) of the 97 patients underwent ERCP and preoperative biliary drainage. Tube-obstructive cholangitis occurred in 25 cases and post-ERCP pancreatitis in 8 cases. Collectively, 30 patients experienced preoperative biliary drainage-related inflammation consisting of tube-obstructive cholangitis and/or post-ERCP pancreatitis. Drainage-related inflammation was significant risk factor of postoperative complications (P = 0.006), and significant poor predictors of shorter progression-free survival (P = 0.003) and overall survival (OS; P = 0.006) after surgery. In multivariate analysis, drainage-related inflammation was an independent predictor of shorter OS (hazard ratio, 1.924; P = 0.037) after surgery. Conclusion: Preoperative biliary drainage-related inflammation was an independent prognostic factor for shorter OS in biliary tract cancer patients.
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