Preoperative diagnosis of gallbladder cancer (GBC) remains a challenge. Unwarranted extensive surgery for benign disease and undertreatment for GBC pose challenges. We aimed to analyze the utility, diagnostic accuracy, and limitations of intraoperative frozen section (FS), for primary diagnosis of suspected gallbladder malignancy.
Patients with suspected GBC underwent a cystic-plate cholecystectomy and FS for primary diagnosis. The procedure was considered adequate if FS suggested a benign pathology. A radical cholecystectomy was performed if FS favoured GBC, or in patients with high intra-operative suspicion of malignancy. All FS records were compared with final histopathology.
FS guided the surgical strategy in 491 of 575 resections (85.4%). FS had a sensitivity of 88.3%, specificity of 99.6%, a positive predictive value of 99.4% and a negative predictive value of 92.7%. The diagnostic accuracy of FS was 95.1%. With routine use of intraoperative FS, only 10 out of 491 patients (2%) required a revised surgical strategy.
For radiologically suspected GBC it is prudent to confirm the histological diagnosis by use of intraoperative FS before undertaking radical resections. This study emphasizes the safety and accuracy of FS as an adjunct for directing optimal surgical strategy in suspected GBC.
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Published online: December 16, 2022
Accepted: December 9, 2022
Received: July 18, 2022
© 2022 International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.