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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 81-86

Could routine magnetic resonance imaging detect local recurrence of musculoskeletal sarcomas earlier? A cost-effectiveness study

Department of Orthopaedic Oncology, Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham, UK

Correspondence Address:
Mr. Andrew George
Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Bristol Rd S, Birmingham, B31 2AP
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ortho.IJOrtho_234_17

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Background: Current practice in our unit is to perform clinical assessment and plain film radiographs at regular intervals following treatment of a bone or soft tissue sarcoma(STS). Cross-sectional imaging is used in cases with a clinical suspicion of recurrence. We aimed to investigate the effectiveness of this protocol to determine if earlier detection may have been possible had more intensive imaging been undertaken, and whether this may have affected outcome. Materials and Methods: We reviewed clinical records and imaging of all patients with diagnosed local recurrence(LR) in the previous 5years to investigate: how it was diagnosed, the site and size of recurrence, and management. Avalue judgment was then made as to whether earlier diagnosis may have altered treatment and/or outcome. Results: 161patients with LR were identified: 87 with a STS and 74 with bone sarcoma. Median time from diagnosis to LR was 17.8months for STS and 20.1months for bone sarcoma. One hundred and fifteen cases(71%) were identified by the patient, 28 by routine imaging(17%), 13 by a doctor(8%), and five diagnosed by other methods. Median size of LR was 5.5cm for STS and 5cm for bone sarcomas. Seventy nine of the patients(49%) could have had their LR diagnosed earlier with routine imaging. Of these, 53 would have received the same treatment, but 26(33%) could have had different treatment. Conclusion: Earlier diagnosis could have led to altered management in one-third of those patients with the potential to have their LR diagnosed earlier. If all patients had regular magnetic resonance imaging, it would cost£6987 per recurrence where management was altered in imaging costs alone. We suggest a stratified approach whereby patients at highest risk of LR and those in whom early detection of LR may be easily treatable are prioritised for more intensive followup.

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