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Eur J Surg Oncol. 2001 Feb;27(1):74-9.

Soft tissue carcinoma in the retroperitoneum: an often neglected diagnosis.

Author information

  • 1Department of Surgery, Universitair Medisch Centrum, Utrecht, The Netherlands. nounou@knoware.nl

Abstract

AIMS:

Successful surgical treatment of patients with retroperitoneal soft tissue sarcoma (RSTS) is based on pre-operative planning that starts with a correct pre-operative diagnosis. In a population-based study, we determined which patients were initially treated for assumed other conditions. The effect of an erroneous diagnosis on the installed treatment was analysed.

METHOD:

With the help of the Dutch Network and National Database for Pathology (PALGA), data were collected on 143 patients in the Netherlands in whom a primary RSTS was found and confirmed histologically between 1 January 1989 and 1 January 1994. Satisfactory clinical information was obtained on 138 patients, 64 males and 74 females (54%). The median age was 60 (range 18-88) years.

RESULTS:

At the time of actual treatment 37% of the patients with RSTS were assumed to have another disorder (group 1 n=51), whereas 87 patients were diagnosed as having RSTS (group 2). In group 1, an acute presentation was more common (18 vs 2% P=0.002), and the tumour was less often palpable at physical examination (43 vs 69% P=0.004), while clinical work-up less frequently included CT-imaging (57 vs 89% P<0.001) and a biopsy (29 vs 77% P<0.001). Although tumours in group 1 were smaller (median diameter 13 vs 19 cm P<0.05), this was not reflected in a better operative result: less patients underwent complete tumour resection (51 vs 57%) and more patients underwent surgery for tumours that proved to be irresectable (14 vs 1% P=0.004).

CONCLUSIONS:

(1) More than one-third of patients with RSTS are misdiagnosed and inappropriately treated; and (2) biopsies and cross-sectional imaging improve diagnosis.

PMID:
11247632
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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