Purpose: We propose a morphological classification of intraductal papillary neoplasm of the bile duct (IPN-B). Methods: A retrospective analysis of 16 patients with IPN-B who had undergone surgical resection was conducted. These 16 cases were classified into three types based on the primary lesion's anatomical location: branch duct type (6 cases), main duct type (5 cases) and mixed type (5 cases). In this paper we have analyzed the characteristics of IPN-B according to our new classification. Results: All branch duct type IPN-B was located in the left lobe and 5 of them were resected by left hepatectomy without extrahepatic bile duct resection (EBDR). On the other hand, all patients with main duct and mixed type IPN-B underwent EBDR in addition to hepatectomy or pancreatoduodenectomy. Microscopically, 2 of 6 patients with branch duct type IPN-B had no malignant component and, in the remaining 4 patients, cancer invasion was restricted to within the ductal wall. There were no cases of branch duct type IPN-B with lymph node metastasis and superficial intraductal tumor spread. In contrast, all patients with main duct and mixed duct type IPN-B had the malignant component. In all cases, lymph node metastasis was not observed, but superficial intraductal tumor spread was frequently found in extrahepatic bile duct lesions: 3 of main duct type and 3 of mixed type. Four patients with superficial intraductal spread had non-curative resection due to a cancer-positive ductal margin. Most patients with IPN-B obtained a good prognosis, but two patients with a cancer-positive ductal margin developed local recurrence. Conclusions: Our classification vividly reflects clinical and pathological characteristics of IPN-B and is useful to determine appropriate surgical strategy.
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