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Cholangiolocellular Carcinoma of the Liver: Imaging Findings

Motosugi, Utaroh PhD*; Ichikawa, Tomoaki PhD; Nakajima, Hiroto MD; Araki, Tsutomu PhD; Matsuda, Masanori PhD§; Suzuki, Tetsuya PhD§; Fujii, Hideki PhD§; Nakazawa, Tadao PhD; Yamaguchi, Hiroshi PhD*

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: September-October 2009 - Volume 33 - Issue 5 - p 682-688
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e318195400c
Abdominal Imaging

Objective: Cholangiolocellular carcinoma (CLC) is a rare subtype of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma as categorized according to the World Health Organization criteria. Recent study also revealed that CLC would originate from hepatic progenitor cells, which are liver-specific stem cells. We reviewed the imaging findings of CLCs, including those of intrahepatic metastases.

Methods: Eight patients who underwent partial hepatectomy were included in this study. Images, including dynamic computed tomographic and magnetic resonance images, were reviewed.

Results: On arterial phase images, the lesions appeared as masses exhibiting early and complete enhancement or predominantly peripheral enhancement. Retention of the contrast media in the lesions was observed in half of the lesions. The metastatic nodules had indistinct borders and showed early enhancement along with delayed central enhancement.

Conclusions: Although CLC with dense central fibrosis exhibits imaging features similar to those exhibited by intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, early enhancement in most lesions with persistent delayed enhancement is one of the characteristic imaging findings of this rare tumor.

From the *Department of Pathology, Saitama Medical University, International Medical Center, Saitama; Departments of †Radiology, and ‡Pathology; and §First Department of Surgery, University of Yamanashi, Chuo-shi, Japan.

Received for publication September 17, 2008; accepted November 12, 2008.

Reprints: Utaroh Motosugi, PhD, Department of Pathology, Saitama Medical University, International Medical Center, 137-1 Yamane, Hidaka-shi, Saitama-ken 350-1298, Japan (e-mail:

The authors declare that they did not receive any funding for this research.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.