Background: Cholangiocarcinoma has been reported in workers exposed to chlorinated organic solvents and has consequently been classified as an occupational disease (occupational cholangiocarcinoma) by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. This study aimed to identify the characteristics of nine workers newly diagnosed with occupational cholangiocarcinoma. Methods: This study was a retrospective study conducted in 13 hospitals and three universities. Clinicopathological findings of nine occupational cholangiocarcinoma patients from seven printing companies in Japan were investigated and compared with 17 cholangiocarcinoma patients clustered in a single printing company in Osaka. Results: Patient age at diagnosis was 31-57 years. Patients were exposed to 1,2-dichloropropane and/or dichloromethane. Serum γ-glutamyl transpeptidase activity was elevated in all patients. Regional dilatation of the intrahepatic bile ducts without tumor-induced obstruction was observed in two patients. Four patients developed intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma and five developed hilar cholangiocarcinoma. Biliary intraepithelial neoplasia and/or intraductal papillary neoplasm of the bile duct was observed in four patients with available operative or autopsy specimens. Conclusions: Most of these patients with occupational cholangiocarcinoma exhibited typical findings, including high serum γ-glutamyl transpeptidase activity, regional dilatation of the bile ducts, and precancerous lesions, similar to findings previously reported in 17 occupational cholangiocarcinoma patients in Osaka.
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