• biliary tract cancer;
  • resection;
  • mortality;
  • Nationwide Inpatient Sample;
  • admission-type


Objective:  To assess perioperative mortality following resection of biliary tract cancer within the U.S.

Background:  Resection remains the only curative treatment for biliary tract cancer. However, current data on operative mortality after surgical resections for biliary tract cancer are limited to small and single-center studies.

Methods:  Using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample 1998–2006, a cohort of patient-discharges was assembled with a diagnosis of biliary tract cancer, including intrahepatic bile duct, extrahepatic bile duct, and gall bladder cancers. Patients undergoing resection, including hepatic resection, bile duct resection, pancreaticoduodenectomy, and cholecystectomy, were retained. The primary outcome measure was in-hospital mortality. Categorical variables were analyzed by chi-square. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to identify independent predictors of in-hospital mortality following resection.

Results:  31 870 patient-discharges occurred for the diagnosis of biliary tract cancer, including 36.2% intrahepatic ductal, 26.7% extrahepatic ductal, and 31.1% gall bladder. Of the total, 18.6% underwent resection: mean age was 69.3 years (median 70.0); 60.8% were female; 73.7% were white. Overall inpatient surgical mortality was 5.6%. Independently predictive factors of mortality included patient age ≥50 (vs. <50; age 50–59 odds ratio [OR] 5.51, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.70–17.93; age 60–69 OR 7.25, 95% CI 2.29–22.96; age ≥ 70 OR 9.03, 95% CI 2.86–28.56), the presence of identified comorbidities (congestive heart failure, OR 3.67, 95% CI 2.61–5.16; renal failure, OR 4.72, 95% CI 2.97–7.49), and admission designated as emergent (vs. elective; OR 1.82, 95% CI 1.39–2.37).

Conclusion:  Increased in-hospital mortality for patients undergoing biliary tract cancer resection corresponded to age, comorbidity, hospital volume, and emergent admission. Further study is warranted to utilize these observations in promoting early detection, diagnosis, and elective resection.