The objective was to describe regional variations in M-staging in patients with newly diagnosed prostate cancer within a Danish county and to compare clinical practice with guideline recommendations.
Data were as captured from 1) a prospective, non-interventional study counting 635 consecutive patients referred for M-staging in the 2008-2009 period at three regional hospitals within one county, and 2) a questionnaire on M-staging practice completed by the five sites performing M-staging in the same county in 2015.
All three sites referred patients for M-staging in 2008, irrespective of their risk factors. Two of the three sites maintained this practice in 2015. Furthermore, in 2015, three of five sites performed M-staging in intermediate and high-risk patients only. Planar whole-body bone scans were standard in all sites in 2008 with single photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography (SPECT/CT) being performed if required and if available. In 2015, two sites used choline positron emission tomography/CT for primary staging of high-risk patients against guideline recommendations. The use of SPECT/CT showed wide variations from "if required" to "mandatory" head-to-thigh imaging. There were notable variations between clinical practice and guidelines in 2008, and this was even more evident in 2015.
Considerable variations existed with respect to the M-staging imaging practices in prostate cancer within a single Danish county. The variation was more pronounced in 2015 than in 2008. Clinical practice conflicted in part with European and national Danish guidelines.
Danish medical journal. 2016 Dec [Epub]
Lars J Petersen, Yuliya Shuytsky, Helle D Zacho