Carcinoma of the extrahepatic bile ducts is a rare condition. Textbooks make few references to it, and the published reviews are fragmentary. Early diagnosis is essential, yet clinicians rarely consider it. The lesion may be found unexpectedly at laparotomy, and the surgeon is frequently at a loss as to the best methods of handling the situation. It is proposed to report 6 new cases of this condition and to correlate the data from these with those previously reported with a view to presenting a comprehensive picture of the morbid anatomic and clinical aspects of the disease.
Three earlier papers have been published dealing with cancer in closely related structures, namely, carcinoma of the suprapapillary portion of the duodenum (Stewart and Lieber) carcinoma of the infrapapillary portion of the duodenum (Lieber, Stewart and Lund) and carcinoma of the peripapillary portion of the duodenum (Lieber, Stewart and Lund).
The extrahepatic bile