It has been shown that atypical reactive bile ductules (ARBD) display positive immunoreactivity of neural cell adhesion molecules (NCAM) and bcl-2. We investigated the clinicopathological features of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (CC) arising in cases of viral hepatitis B or C (VHBC) and examined their relation to ARBD by means of immunohistochemical analysis. Sixty-eight surgical cases with CC were included in this study. The cause of the background liver disease was hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)(+) in eight cases, antihepatitis C virus antibody (HCVAb)(+) in 13 cases, both HBsAg(+) and HCVAb(+) in one case, and both HBsAg(-) and HCVAb(-) in 46 cases. The average age of patients with CC arising in the HBsAg(+) group was significantly less than that of patients with CC in the HCVAb(+) group (P = 0.0192). Immunohistochemically, CC arising in the HBsAg(+) and HCVAb(+) groups was correlated with coexpression of NCAM/bcl-2 in the tumor cells (P = 0.0068 and P = 0.0382, respectively). Among the 12 cases of CC coexpressing NCAM/bcl-2, 11 were of mass-forming and peripheral type (P = 0.0437), and lymph node metastasis was a rare finding compared with CC showing negative coexpression of NCAM/bcl-2 (P = 0.0213). The tumor cells of CCs arising in VHBC have some characteristics of ARBD. In such tumors, because lymph node metastases were rarely seen and lymph node dissection did not improve patient's survival, lymph node dissection can be limited.
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