Open Access Case Report

Common bile duct adenocarcinoma in a patient with situs inversus totalis: report of a rare case

Hafida Benhammane1*, Saoussane Kharmoum1, Sylvain Terraz2, Thierry Berney3, Thai Nguyen-Tang4, Muriel Genevay5, Omar El Mesbahi1 and Arnaud Roth6

Author Affiliations

1 Department of medical oncology, Hassan II University Hospital, Fez, Morocco

2 Department of radiology, University Hospitals of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland

3 Department of general surgery, University Hospitals of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland

4 Department of gastroenterology, University Hospitals of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland

5 Department of pathology, University Hospitals of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland

6 Department of medical oncology, University Hospitals of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:681  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-681

Published: 12 December 2012



Situs inversus totalis represents an unusual anomaly characterized by a mirror-image transposition of the abdominal and thoracic viscera. It often occurs concomitantly with other disorders that make difficult diagnosis and management of abdominal pathology. The relationship between situs inversus totalis and cancer remains unclear.

Case presentation

We describe a 33-year old Guinean man with situs inversus totalis who presented with obstructive jaundice. Imaging and endoscopic modalities demonstrated a mass of distal common bile duct which biopsy identified an adenocarcinoma. The patient was successfully treated by cephalic pancreaticoduodenectomy followed by adjuvant chemoradiation and he is doing well without recurrence 8 months after surgery.


The occurrence of bile duct adenocarcinoma in patient with situs inversus totalis accounts as a rare coincidence. In this setting, when the tumor is resectable, surgical management should be considered without contraindication and must be preceded by a careful preoperative staging.

Situs inversus totalis; Bile duct cancer; Preoperative staging; Surgical management