Radiological staging of rectal cancer in a resource limited setting

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Radiological staging of rectal cancer in a resource limited setting


JournalBMC Research Notes
Publication date – Oct – 2020
Authors – Naradha Lokuhetty, Suranjith L. Seneviratne, Fathima Asma Rahman, Thanushka Marapana, Roshan Niloofa, and Ishan De Zoysa
KeywordsComputed tomography, Magnetic resonance imaging, Radiological staging, rectal cancer
Open access – Yes
SpecialityGeneral surgery, Surgical oncology
World region Southern Asia
Country: Sri Lanka
Language – English
Submitted to the One Surgery Index on November 14, 2020 at 11:38 am
Abstract:

Objective
Current guidelines on rectal cancer (RC) management recommend pre-operative MRI for loco-regional staging and CT for staging of metastases. This allows appropriate selection of patients for chemo-radiotherapy (CRT). However, MRI is not freely available in many low-income countries. We assessed the status of pre-operative imaging for RC in Sri Lanka and evaluated the performance of CT in RC staging.

Results
A pre-tested interview-administered questionnaire was used to assess the pre-operative use of MRI and CT in RC. CT findings from 37 RC patients were then compared with histopathology findings. Of the 64 surgeons interviewed, 57 (89.1%) did not request an MRI for their RC patients. Reasons cited included limited availability and long waiting times due to competing health needs. A CT was requested by all. In RC, the overall accuracy of CT for T staging was 43.2% and 29.7% of T1–T2 tumours were over-staged as T3. The overall accuracy of CT for regional lymph node staging was 70.3%. In summary, CT alone is not suitable for RC staging in any setting. It leads to over-staging and patients may thus receive unnecessary CRT. Steps must be taken to improve access to pre-operative MRI among Sri Lankan RC patients.

OSI Number – 20763
PMID – 33036648

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