Klatskin tumor

What are Klatskin tumors?

Klatskin tumors are are a type of cholangiocarcinoma that begins in an area called the hilum, where the left and right bile ducts join and leave the liver. It is the most common type of cholangiocarcinoma, accounting for more than half of all cases. Symptoms usually don't present until advanced stages of disease, when jaundice is the most common feature. Other symptoms include abdominal pain, unintentional weight loss, and a general feeling of being unwell (malaise).

The cause of Klatskin tumors is unknown. Studies suggest that a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors (multifactorial) likely influence whether a person will develop cholangiocarcinoma. Because Klatskin tumors are often discovered after they have spread, they can be challenging to treat. Surgical removal of the tumor and relief of bile duct blockage are the main goals of treatment.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Is blurred vision associated with Klatskin tumor progression?

A search of the resources available to us did not identify blurred vision as an associated finding in Klatskin tumors. We encourage you to discuss your concerns with your mom's health care providers.

Last updated on 05-01-20

What is the prognosis for individuals with Klatskin tumors?

Most Klatskin tumors are diagnosed at an advanced stage. The best long-term results are achieved with surgical intervention. The median survival of patients with non- resectable Klatskin tumors after palliative drainage is two to eight months. Complications include recurring bacterial cholangitis and/or liver failure (cirrhosis). The aim of palliative treatment is improvement in the patient’s quality of life. This includes treating cholestasis and cholangitis, which secondarily prolongs survival.

Last updated on 05-01-20


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The RareGuru disease database is regularly updated using data generously provided by GARD, the United States Genetic and Rare Disease Information Center.

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