Does the availability of positron emission tomography modify diagnostic strategies for solitary pulmonary nodules? An observational study in France.

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Previous studies showed that at the individual level, positron emission tomography (PET) has some benefits for patients and physicians in terms of cancer management and staging. We aimed to describe the benefits of (PET) in the management of solitary pulmonary nodules (SPNs) in a population level, in terms of the number of diagnostic and invasive tests performed, time to diagnosis and factors determining PET utilization. METHODS: In an observational study, we examined reports of computed tomography (CT) performed and mentioning "spherical lesion", "nodule" or synonymous terms. We found 11,515 reports in a before-PET period, 2002-2003, and 20,075 in an after-PET period, 2004-2005. Patients were followed through their physician, who was responsible for diagnostic management. RESULTS: We had complete data for 112 patients (73.7%) with new cases of SPN in the before-PET period and 250 (81.4%) in the after-PET period. Patients did not differ in mean age (64.9 vs. 64.8 years). The before-PET patients underwent a mean of 4 tests as compared with 3 tests for the after-PET patients (p = 0.08). Patients in the before-PET period had to wait 41.4 days, on average, before receiving a diagnosis as compared with 24.0 days, on average, for patients in the after-PET period who did not undergo PET (p < 0.001). In the after-PET period, 11% of patients underwent PET during the diagnostic process. A spiculated nodule was more likely to determine prescription for PET (p < 0.001). Multivariate analysis revealed that patients in both periods underwent fewer tests when PET was prescribed by general practitioners (p < 0.001) and if the nodule was not spiculated (p < 0.001). The proportion of unnecessary invasive approaches prescribed (47% vs. 49%) did not differ between the groups. CONCLUSION: In our study, 1 year after the availability of PET, the technology was not the first choice for diagnostic management of SPN. Even though we observed a tendency for reduced number of tests and mean time to diagnosis with PET, these phenomena did not fully relate to PET availability in health communities. In addition, the availability of PET in the management of SPN diagnosis did not reduce the overall rate of unnecessary invasive approaches.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadatas

https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00475551
Contributor : Marie-Christine Woronoff-Lemsi <>
Submitted on : Thursday, April 22, 2010 - 10:53:07 AM
Last modification on : Friday, May 24, 2019 - 10:14:08 AM

Links full text

Identifiers

Citation

Irawati Lemonnier, Cédric Baumann, Nicolas Jay, Kazem Alzahouri, Patrick Arveux, et al.. Does the availability of positron emission tomography modify diagnostic strategies for solitary pulmonary nodules? An observational study in France.. BMC Cancer, BioMed Central, 2009, 9, pp.139. ⟨10.1186/1471-2407-9-139⟩. ⟨hal-00475551⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

507