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Utilization of pre-operative imaging for colon cancer: a population-based study

McInnes MD, Nanji S, Mackillop WJ, Flemming JA, Wei X, Macdonald DB, Scheida N, Booth CM. J Surg Oncol. 2017; 115(2):202-7. Epub 2016 Nov 4.


Objective — To assess the use of pre-operative imaging for colon cancer and to identify factors associated with utilization in routine clinical practice.

Methods — This population-based, retrospective cohort study used a random sample of 25% of colon cancer patients treated with surgery in the province of Ontario (2002-2008). Pre-operative imaging (<16 weeks from surgery) of the chest, abdomen-pelvis was identified. Modified poisson regression was used to analyze factors associated with practice patterns.

Results — Of the 7,249 included patients, 48% had pre-operative imaging (CT abdomen and imaging of the chest) in keeping with guideline recommendations. The rate of guideline concordant pre-operative imaging increased over time: 64% in the most recent study period (2006-2008) versus 31% (2002-2004); P < 0.001. Variables associated with use of chest imaging: Age, co-morbidity, surgeon volume, and geographic region; no association with gender, hospital volume, or socio-economic status. Variables associated with use of abdomen imaging: Hospital volume and geographic region; no association with age, gender, comorbidity, socio-economic status, or surgeon volume.

Conclusion — In clinical practice, the majority of patients were not receiving pre-operative imaging that was in line with clinical practice guidelines; however, use increased over time indicating a possible association with dissemination of clinical practice guidelines.

Keywords: Colorectal cancer Diagnostic testing/imaging Surgery Treatments in oncology

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