Related Terms

Intrahepatic Bile Duct

Intrahepatic Bile Duct: These bile ducts are a part of the system designed for the exocrine bile outflow from the liver. They are separated into small and large ducts. For instance the large ducts or right and left hepatic ducts and the small ducts are the ‘interlobular bile ducts’.

On the other hand, they can also refer to the ducts found among the ‘interlobular bile ducts’ as well as the left and right hepatic ducts. The tissues of these ducts are described as simple columnar epithelium with connective tissue that is dense fibroelastic.

Cancers may develop in many parts of the bile duct. Based on their location they are divided into 3 groups: intrahepatic, distal and perihilar bile duct cancers. The cancers in these areas are different and may have different symptoms.

Cancers of these ducts develops in the smallest of bile duct branches in the liver. Often they are confused with cancers that begin in the liver cells that are called ‘hepatocellular carcinomas’ and are often treated the exact same way. Only approximately 1 out of every 10 cases of bile duct cancer is intrahepatic.

The majority of bile duct cancers are of the type known as adenocarcinoma. Adenocarcinomas are those cancers of the glandular cells developing in numerous other organs of the body. Adenocarcinomas of the bile duct grow from mucus glands lining the inside of these ducts. Alternative name for bile duct adenocarcinoma is cholangiocarcinoma. Not all of the tumors in the bile duct are cancerous.

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