Interventional radiology’s role in the diagnosis and management of patients with gallbladder carcinoma
Gallbladder carcinoma is a rare, aggressive biliary tract malignancy, with a 5-year survival of less than 5%. It is the 6th most common gastrointestinal malignancy in the United States and more commonly found in women. While some risk factors include gallstones, porcelain gallbladder, and smoking, gallbladder carcinoma is often found incidentally following cholecystectomy or percutaneous image guided biopsy. Patients frequently present in a late disease state when they are no longer surgical candidates and minimally invasive image guided-interventions therefore play a critical role in the management and treatment of these patients. This review will discuss some of the key procedures and roles interventional radiologists play in the diagnosis and management of patients suffering from gallbladder carcinoma including tissue sampling, placement of intra-arterial infusion pumps, preoperative portal vein embolization (PVE), biliary drainage, management of post-operative complications such as bile leaks or biliary obstruction, and management of chronic pain.