Clinical features, histology, and histogenesis of combined hepatocellular-cholangiocarcinoma

Shweta Gera, Mark Ettel, Gabriel Acosta-Gonzalez, Ruliang Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Combined hepatocellular-cholangiocarcinoma (CHC) is a rare tumor with poor prognosis, with incidence ranging from 1.0%-4.7% of all primary hepatic tumors. This entity will be soon renamed as hepato-cholangiocarcinoma. The known risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) have been implicated for CHC including viral hepatitis and cirrhosis. It is difficult to diagnose this tumor pre-operatively. The predominant histologic component within the tumor largely determines the predominant radiographic features making it a difficult distinction. Heterogeneous and overlapping imaging features of HCC and cholangiocarcinoma should raise the suspicion for CHC and multiple core biopsies (from different areas of tumor) are recommended before administering treatment. Serum tumor markers CA19-9 and alpha-fetoprotein can aid in the diagnosis, but it remains a challenging diagnosis prior to resection. There is sufficient data to support bipotent hepatic progenitor cells as the cell of origin for CHC. The current World Health Organization classification categorizes two main types of CHC based on histo-morphological features: Classical type and CHC with stem cell features. Liver transplant is one of the available treatment modalities with other management options including transarterial chemoembolization, radiofrequency ablation, and percutaneous ethanol injection. We present a review paper on CHC highlighting the risk factors, origin, histological classification and therapeutic modalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-309
Number of pages10
JournalWorld Journal of Hepatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2017


  • Cholangiocellular carcinoma
  • Classification
  • Combined hepatocellular-cholangiocellular carcinoma
  • Hepatic progenitor cell(s)
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Histogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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