Staging practice for prostate cancer varies and is not in line with clinical guidelines.

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.


not relevant.

Danish medical journal. 2016 Dec [Epub]

Lars J Petersen, Yuliya Shuytsky, Helle D Zacho