Patient preparation before surgery for cholangiocarcinoma

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Multiorgan dysfunction is often encountered in jaundiced patients and may compromise the postoperative outcome after liver resection for cholangiocarcinoma (CCA). The aim of the present study was to elucidate evidence-based medicine regarding the benefit of the available preoperative treatments currently used for the preparation of patients before surgery for hilar CCA.

Material and methods.

An electronic search using the Medline database was performed to identify relevant articles relating to renal dysfunction, bacterial translocation, hemostasis impairment, malnutrition, liver failure, and postoperative outcome in jaundiced patients undergoing liver resection for CCA.


There is grade B evidence to expand the extracellular water volume and to administer oral synbiotic supplements. Intravenous vitamin K administration is an effective treatment. Perioperative nutritional support should be administered preferably by the enteral route in severely malnourished patients with compromised liver function undergoing extended liver resection (grade A evidence). There is only grade C evidence to recommend a portal vein embolization in patients with CCA when the future remnant liver volume is <40%.


A simplified scheme that might be useful in the management of patients presenting with obstructive jaundice was presented. Despite surgical technique improvements, preparation of patients for surgery will continue to be one of the major determinants for the postoperative prognosis of jaundiced patients.

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