AIM: To compare clinical presentation and ultrasound (US) and computed tomography (CT) sensitivity between intraluminal and infiltrating gallbladder carcinoma (GBCA). METHODS: This retrospective study evaluated 65 cases of GBCA that were categorized morphologically into the intraluminal-GBCA ( n = 37) and infiltrating-GBCA ( n = 28) groups. The clinical and laboratory findings, presence of gallstones, gallbladder size, T-staging, nodal status, sensitivity of preoperative US and CT studies, and outcome were compared between the two groups. RESULTS: There were no significant differences between the two groups with respect to female predominance, presence of abdominal pain, serum aminotransferases level, T2-T4 staging, and regional metastatic nodes. Compared with the patients with intraluminal-GBCA, those with infiltrating-GBCA were significantly older (65.49 ± 1.51 years vs 73.07 ± 1.90 years), had a higher frequency of jaundice (3/37 patients vs 13/28 patients) and fever (3/37 patients vs 10/28 patients), higher alkaline phosphatase (119.36 ± 87.80 IU/L vs 220.68 ± 164.84 IU/L) and total bilirubin (1.74 ± 2.87 mg/L vs 3.50 ± 3.51 mg/L) levels, higher frequency of gallstones (12/37 patients vs 22/28 patients), smaller gallbladder size (length, 7.47 ± 1.70 cm vs 6.47 ± 1.83 cm; width, 4.21 ± 1.43 cm vs 2.67 ± 0.93 cm), and greater proportion of patients with < 12 mo survival (16/37 patients vs 18/28 patients). The sensitivity for diagnosing intraluminal-GBCA with and without gallstones was 63.6% and 91.3% by US, and 80% and 100% by CT, respectively. The sensitivity for diagnosing infiltrating-GBCA with and without gallstones was 12.5% and 25% by US, and 71.4% and 75% by CT, respectively. CONCLUSION: In elderly women exhibiting small gallbladder and gallstones on US, especially those with jaundice, fever, high alkaline phosphatase and bilirubin levels, CT may reveal concurrent infiltrating-GBCA.
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