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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Klatskin tumor

Other Names for this Disease
  • Klatskin's tumor
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Your Question

My mom has been diagnosed with a Klatskin tumor. They tried to remove it but were unable to do so. What symptoms might develop as her condition progresses? Her eyesight has become blurred. Could this be related to her condition?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What are Klatskin tumors?

Klatskin tumors are tumors that affect the upper part of the bile duct where it divides to enter the right and left parts of the liver. One or both sides may be affected. Individuals with Klatskin tumors often present with jaundice and/or abnormal liver tests. Treatment may involve surgical removal of the tumor. Not all tumors can be removed. Prognosis for cases that cannot be removed (non-resectable tumors) is poor.[1][2]
Last updated: 7/15/2011

What signs and symptoms may be associated with Klatskin tumors?

The symptoms associated with Klatskin tumors are usually due to blocked bile ducts. Symptoms may include:[1][2]
  • Jaundice
  • Itching
  • Light colored stools and/or dark urine
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite / weight loss
  • Fever
  • Nausea / vomiting
Last updated: 7/15/2011

What symptoms are common in patients with non-resectable Klatskin tumors?

Two of the most common features noted in patients with non-resectable tumors are bile duct blockage (which can lead to jaundice, itching, and other symptoms) and pain.[1]
Last updated: 7/15/2011

Is blurred vision associated with Klatskin tumor progression?

A search of the resources available to us did not identify blurred vision as an associated finding in Klatskin tumors. We encourage you to discuss your concerns with your mom's health care providers.
Last updated: 7/15/2011

What is the prognosis for individuals with Klatskin tumors?

Most Klatskin tumors are diagnosed at an advanced stage. The best long-term results are achieved with surgical intervention. The median survival of patients with non-resectable Klatskin tumors after palliative drainage is six to nine months. Most patients die from recurring bacterial cholangitis and/or liver failure. The aim of palliative treatment is improvement in the patient’s quality of life. This includes treating cholestasis and cholangitis, which secondarily prolongs survival.[3][4]
Last updated: 7/15/2011