Background: Patients affected by hilar cholangiocarcinoma are eligible for surgery only in the 20-30% of the cases and postoperative mortality is 40-50%. Many specialists are involved in the treatment of this disease, like surgeons, gastroenterologists, oncologists and radiotherapists. Recent studies have shown that preoperative bilirubinaemia is a predictor of morbidity and mortality after surgery.
Coupled Plasma Filtration and Adsorption (CPFA) is a blood purification extracorporeal therapy recommended for sepsis and able to reduce bilirubinaemia.
Methods: We treated 10 patients referred to our centre affected by hilar cholangiocarcinoma complicated by obstructive jaundice with 34 CPFA sessions to test its ability to reduce preoperative bilirubin levels and we checked for mortality at 90 days.
Results: CPFA reduced preoperative bilirubin of 30% for session; it also improved others inflammation and coagulation tests. Mortality at 90 days was 40%.
Conclusion: CPFA is an effective therapy for hyperbilirubinaemia. Lowering preoperative bilirubinaemia and improvement of coagulation tests subsidized the management of the patients but in our study did not affect postoperative mortality. Further studies to evaluate the indications for treatments that remove bilirubin in this setting are needed.
KEYWORDS: bilirubinaemia, cholangiocarcinoma, Coupled Plasma Filtration and Adsorption, CPFA