A team from Seattle, Washington, USA, assessed the clinical utility of routine preoperative computed tomography (CT) scanning in patients with cancer of the intraperitoneal colon.
From 1997 to 2001, all patients at the Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Healthcare System, with a diagnosis of colon cancer, were referred for a preoperative CT scan.
Medical records and operative notes were reviewed to determine the influence of preoperative CT on clinical management.
|18% more patients had management altered after CT scan.
| American Journal of Surgery |
A total of 70 patients received a CT per protocol.
Preoperative CT provided information that was used in treatment planning and management in 37% of cases.
However, if preoperative scans had not been performed, the clinical management would have been definitively altered in only 19% of patients.
Jared B. Barton, of the VA Puget Sound Health Care System and the University of Washington, Seattle, concluded on behalf of the group, "These data suggest potential benefit for routine preoperative CT scanning.
"However, we believe additional study, including cost analysis, should precede the adoption of CT scanning as a routine preoperative study in patients with colon cancer."