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Am J Surg. 2002 May;183(5):499-503.

The utility of routine preoperative computed tomography scanning in the management of veterans with colon cancer.

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Department of Surgery (112), VA Puget Sound Health Care System, University of Washington, 1660 S. Columbian Way, Seattle, WA 98108, USA.



The aim of this study is to assess the clinical utility of routine preoperative computed tomography (CT) scanning in patients with cancer of the intraperitoneal colon.


From November 1997 to June 2001, all patients at VA 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.


Seventy patients received a CT per protocol. Preoperative CT provided information that was used in treatment planning and management in 26 (37%) cases. However, if preoperative scans had not been performed, the clinical management would have been definitively altered in only 13 (19%) patients.


Although these data suggest potential benefit for routine preoperative CT scanning, we believe additional study, including cost analysis, should precede the adoption of CT scanning as a routine preoperative study in patients with colon cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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