While patients with gastrointestinal cancer are at increased risk of cholangitis, it is less clear whether cholangitis is also a marker for occult gastrointestinal cancer. If an undiagnosed cancer obstructs the bile duct system and causes cholangitis, the short-term risk of cancer will appear increased. However, an increased long-term risk of cancer may originate from chronic inflammatory processes. We assessed the risk of a gastrointestinal cancer diagnosis subsequent to a cholangitis diagnosis during a 17-year period in Denmark.
We conducted a nationwide population-based cohort study by linking Danish medical registries during 1994-2010. We quantified the excess risk of cancer in cholangitis patients using relative (standardised incidence ratio; SIR) and absolute (excess absolute risk per 1000 person-years at risk; EAR) risk calculations.
4333 patients with cholangitis (including 178 with primary sclerosing cholangitis) were followed for 17 222 person-years. During the follow-up period, 477 gastrointestinal cancers occurred versus 59 expected, corresponding to a SIR of 8.12 (95% CI 7.41 to 8.88). Risk was increased mainly for cancer in the small intestine (SIR 18.2; 95% CI 8.69 to 33.4), liver (SIR 16.3; 95% CI 11.6 to 22.2), gallbladder and biliary tract (SIR 70.9; 95% CI 59.0 to 84.4) and pancreas (SIR 31.7; 95% CI 27.8 to 36.0). During the first 6 months of follow-up, 314 patients were diagnosed with gastrointestinal cancer, corresponding to a SIR of 49.8 (95% CI 44.4 to 55.6) and an EAR of 175.
Cholangitis is a marker of occult gastrointestinal cancer.
Pericarditis may be a serious complication of malignancy. Its significance as a first symptom of occult cancer and as a prognostic factor for cancer survival is unknown.
Using Danish medical databases, we conducted a nationwide cohort study of all patients with a first-time diagnosis of pericarditis during 1994 to 2013. We excluded patients with previous cancer and followed up the remaining patients for subsequent cancer diagnosis until November 30, 2013. We calculated risks and standardized incidence ratios of cancer for patients with pericarditis compared with the general population. We assessed whether pericarditis predicts cancer survival by the Kaplan-Meier method and Cox regression using a matched comparison cohort of cancer patients without pericarditis.
Among 13 759 patients with acute pericarditis, 1550 subsequently were diagnosed with cancer during follow-up. The overall cancer standardized incidence ratio was 1.5 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.4-1.5), driven predominantly by increased rates of lung, kidney, and bladder cancer, lymphoma, leukemia, and unspecified metastatic cancer. The