ampullary carcinomaA rare GI tract tumour that arises in the last centimetre of the common bile duct, comprising 7% of all periampullary malignancies. Ampullary carcinomas arise in ampullary adenomas; they usually have a better prognosis than pancreatic carcinomas, especially if the lesion is polypoid or papillary, and a worse prognosis if node-positive. The periampullary region is anatomically complex, representing the junction of three different epithelia: duodenal, pancreatic ductal, bile ductal, as well as a combination of the latter two (the ampulla of Vater).
Intra-ampullary, periampullary, mixed, invasive pancreatic carcinoma.
Distinguishing between ampullary and periampullary tumours is critical, given that each type of mucosa produces a different pattern of mucus secretion (and prognosis): in general, ampullary tumours produce sialomucins and have a 100% 5-year survival, whereas periampullary tumours secrete sulfphated mucins and a 27% 5-year survival rate. Ampullary adenocarcinomas are classified as either:
(1) pancreaticobiliary—more aggressive, like that of pancreatic adenocarcinomas, CA 19-9 +ve; or
(2) intestinal—which have a prognosis similar to their duodenal counterparts, CA 19-9 –ve.