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Mucins Differently Expressed in Various Ampullary Adenocarcinomas

Tao Wang, Ye M Liang*, Peng Hu and Yu F Cheng

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Department of Radiation Oncology, QiLu Hospital of Shandong University, West Wen hua Rd 107, Jian, Shandong, 250012, China

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Diagnostic Pathology 2011, 6:102  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-6-102

Published: 25 October 2011



We investigated the occurrence and clinical significance of mucin expression in ampullary adenocarcinoma.


We retrospectively analyzed clinical, pathological, and survival data from 74 ampullary adenocarcinoma patients who received radical operation from January 2004 to November 2006.


The tumors were located in the lower end of the common bile duct (46%), papillary duodenum (42%), and ampullary duodenum (12%), and expressed MUC1 (72%), MUC2 (20%), MUC5AC (43%), and MUC6 (27%). Expression of MUC1 was associated with tumor differentiation (OR: 4.71, 95% CI: 1.26, 17.66, P = 0.021). Expression of MUC5AC was associated with age (OR: 1.07, 95% CI: 1.11, 1.14, P = 0.026) and less vessel invasion(OR: 0.14, 95% CI: 0.03, 0.72, P = 0.019). The survival rates were not significantly different when patients had or had no expression of MUC1, MUC2, MUC5AC, or MUC6 in tumor. Patients with tumors positive for MUC5AC in the papillary duodenum had worse survival than those with tumors negative for MUC5AC (P = 0.044).


Expression of MUC1 was high (72%) in ampullary adenocarcinoma, while expressions of MUC2, MUC5AC, and MUC6 were lower. Mucins are useful markers to diagnose and identify ampullary adenocarcinoma, particularly in determining the degree of malignancy of ampullary adenocarcinoma.

mucin; ampulla of Vater; common bile duct; neoplasm staging