Primary undifferentiated spindle-cell carcinoma of the gallbladder presenting as a liver tumor

Tomotaka Akatsu, Masakazu Ueda, Motohide Shimazu, Go Wakabayashi, Koichi Aiura, Minoru Tanabe, Shigeyuki Kawachi, Kaori Kameyama, Masaki Kitajima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Undifferentiated spindle-cell carcinoma (SpCC) of the gallbladder is extremely rare. There is very little information available regarding the characteristics and treatment of this disease. We herein report the unique case of a 76-year-old female patient with a primary SpCC of the gallbladder that presented as a liver tumor. Preoperative radiologic examinations showed a 5-cm liver tumor around the gallbladder bed, and irregular thickening of the gallbladder wall. The patient underwent en-bloc resection of the gallbladder and segments 4b and 5 of the liver (including the liver tumor). Microscopic findings revealed that both lesions consisted mainly of a sarcomatous spindle-shaped component. Small foci of well-differentiated adenocarcinoma cells were identified in the gallbladder mucosa. There was a gradual transition between the two different components, thereby implying that these two cell types had a common origin. Immunohistochemical studies showed that the spindle-shaped cells were epithelial in nature. The patient's postoperative course was uneventful. However, she died of recurrent liver disease 6 months after the surgery. In conclusion, we surmised that the sarcomatous spindle cells originated from a carcinomatous component in the gallbladder mucosa through dedifferentiation. Further studies are needed to better understand the characteristics of this deadly tumor, and to establish an effective therapy for it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)993-998
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of gastroenterology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Oct 1


  • Gallbladder
  • Liver tumor
  • Spindle-cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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