Chemotherapy-induced sclerosing cholangitis: Long-term response to endoscopic therapy

Waleed M. Alazmi, Lee McHenry, James L. Watkins, Evan L. Fogel, Suzette Schmidt, Stuart Sherman, Glen L. Lehman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Hepatic arterial infusion of fluoropyrimidines has been widely used for the treatment of hepatic metastasis from colorectal cancer. One major complication of such treatment is biliary sclerosis resembling primary sclerosing cholangitis, which has an incidence ranging from 8% to 26%. AIM: We evaluated the efficacy and long-term outcome of endoscopic therapy in the management of chemotherapy-induced sclerosing cholangitis (CISC). METHODS: With the use of an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) database, all patients with a diagnosis of CISC who had endoscopic therapy between March 1995 and March 2005 were identified. The indications, findings, therapies, and complications for all patients undergoing ERCP were recorded in this database. Additional information was obtained by review of medical records. RESULTS: Eleven patients (six men and five women) were identified. The mean age at presentation was 59.5 years (range, 36-76 years). Cholangiogram findings revealed stricture confined to the common hepatic duct in two patients, involving the hilum in seven patients, involving the right and/or left main hepatic ducts in nine patients, and extending to the intrahepatic radicals in two patients. All patients had successful endoscopic therapy to alleviate the presenting symptom. The grade and extent of biliary strictures did not change in five patients, improved in one patient, recurred in two patients, and progressed in two patients over the follow-up period of 28.2 months (range, 4-60 months). CONCLUSION: Although long-term follow-up of patients with CISC is limited by the dismal prognosis of the underlying malignancy, CISC has a recalcitrant pattern that rarely improves with endoscopic therapy. However, endoscopic therapy seems to be an effective method of palliation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-357
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2006


  • Biliary sclerosis
  • Chemotherapy
  • Fluoropyrimidines
  • Hepatic arterial infusion
  • Sclerosing cholangitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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