Chinese Herbal Medicine Integrated with Western Medicine Significantly Ameliorated Hyperbilirubinemia in a Patient with Metastatic Gallbladder Adenocarcinoma: A Case Report
Case: This is the case of a patient with metastatic gallbladder adenocarcinoma complicated by cholestasis and hyperbilirubinemia. Initial Western medical treatment and percutaneous transhepatic cholangial drainage achieved limited improvement in his clinical condition.
Clinical features and outcome: In March 2022, the 68-year-old male with no family history of cancer was diagnosed with clinical stage M1 gallbladder adenocarcinoma associated with liver and distant lymph node metastasis. During hospitalization, symptoms including scleral icterus, jaundice, fatigue, poor appetite, vomiting, abdominal distention, constipation, tea-colored urine, and decreased body weight were noted. The initial total bilirubin level measured at 7.84 mg/dL. The traditional Chinese medicine department was consulted on day 14 of admission. After integrating Chinese herbal medical treatment, the patient’s clinical symptoms gradually improved, including the cholestasis. The patient was discharged on day 36. The patient subsequently received regular Western and Chinese medical treatments; while his total bilirubin level decreased to 1.37 mg/dL, maintaining a level under 2.0 mg/dL three months after being discharged.
Conclusion: During the 36 days of hospitalization and the post-discharge follow-up period, integrated Chinese and Western therapies improved the hyperbilirubinemia and quality of life in this patient with metastatic gallbladder cancer.