Impact of Routine Histopathological Examination of Gall Bladder Specimens on Early Detection of Malignancy - A Study of 4,115 Cholecystectomy Specimens

  • Published : 2013.05.30


Gall bladder carcinoma is the most common cancer of biliary tree, characterized by rapid progression and a very high mortality rate. Detection at an early stage, however, is indicative of a very good prognosis and prolonged survival. The practice of histopathological examination of gall bladder specimens removed for clinically benign conditions and its usefulness has been a subject of controversy. The present prospective study was carried out over a period of four years in order to find out the incidence of unsuspected gallbladder carcinoma in cholecystectomy specimens received in our histopathology laboratory and to analyze their clinico-pathological features. A total of 4,115 cases were examined. Incidentally detected cases comprised 0.44%, which accounted for 72% of all gall bladder carcinomas detected. The majority were in an early, surgically resectable stage. From the results of this study we recommend that in India and other countries with relatively high incidences of gall bladder carcinoma, all cholecystectomy specimens should be submitted to histopathology laboratory, as this is the only means by which malignancies can be detected at an early, potentially curable stage.


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