Subclinical focal Cholangitis mimicking liver metastasis in asymptomatic patients with history of pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma and Biliary tree intervention

Natally Horvat, Edmund M. Godfrey, Timothy J. Sadler, Jaclyn F. Hechtman, Laura H. Tang, Carlie S. Sigel, Serena Monti, Lorenzo Mannelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Cholangitis is an inflammatory process of the biliary tract with a wide range of clinical manifestations and it is not always considered in the differential diagnosis in asymptomatic patients. To the best of our knowledge there is no previous report in the English literature of focal cholangitis manifesting exclusively as liver parenchymal changes mimicking liver metastasis in asymptomatic patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and history of manipulation of the biliary tree. The purpose of this article is to present six cases of subclinical focal cholangitis mimicking liver metastasis in asymptomatic patients with history of PDAC and biliary tree intervention. Case presentation: There are six cases with new hepatic lesions detected on follow-up scans in asymptomatic patients with history of PDAC and manipulation of biliary tree. Overall seven lesions were detected, all of them were on the liver periphery, five were hypovascular and two were hypervascular. None of those patients had elevation of CA 19.9 compared with the previous exams. The three patients that had magnetic resonance imaging presented restriction on diffusion weighted imaging and high signal intensity on T2-weighted image. Two patients underwent liver biopsy, which showed only inflammatory changes. All patients were treated with antibiotics and underwent imaging follow-up, which demonstrated resolution of the lesions. None of the patients showed imaging or clinical signs of disease progression during this interval. Conclusion: Radiologists and oncologists need to be aware of the possibility of focal cholangitis causing hepatic lesions mimicking neoplasia in patients with history of biliary tree intervention, even in the absence of clinical symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21
JournalCancer Imaging
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 14 2017

Keywords

  • Biliary tract surgical procedures
  • Cholangitis
  • Pancreas cancer
  • Pancreatic ductal carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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