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Management of the Mucin Filled Bile Duct. A Complication of Intraductal Papillary Mucinous Tumor of the Pancreas

Context Biliary obstruction secondary to intrabiliary mucin is a relatively rare presentation of malignant intraductal pancreatic mucinous tumor. We report a case of unresectable intraductal pancreatic mucinous tumor associated with obstructive jaundice secondary to intrabiliary mucin. This case and a review of the literature, highlight the difficulty in obtaining sustained palliation from jaundice using endoscopically placed biliary stents or percutaneously placed biliary catheters due to rapid occlusion with thick mucin secreted by the tumor. Furthermore, this case differs from that commonly seen in the setting of pancreatic adenocarcinoma, where endoscopic or percutaneous biliary drainage is usually successful at long-term palliation from jaundice. Case report We report a case of obstructive jaundice secondary to invasive intraductal pancreatic mucinous tumor associated with dilated bile ducts containing copious amounts of mucin. The diagnosis of intraductal pancreatic mucinous tumor was established based on diagnostic findings on computed tomography scan and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography. The tumor was unresectable due to vascular invasion. Attempts at endoscopic biliary drainage proved unhelpful with the patient experiencing rapid occlusion of the biliary stents with thick mucinous material leading to recurrent cholangitis. The patient eventually underwent a choledochojejunostomy leading to complete and sustained resolution of the cholestasis. Conclusion If intraductal pancreatic mucinous tumor in association with intrabiliary mucinous obstruction is deemed unresectable, surgical biliary bypass seems to be superior to endoscopic biliary drainage and should be performed on initial presentation. This is due to rapid occlusion of biliary stents with thick mucin leading to frequent stent changes and recurrent cholestasis.


Anand Patel, Louis Lambiase, Antonio Decarli, Ali Fazel

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