Fist Surgical Clinic, University of Catania, Italy.
Background: The authors, evaluating the disappointing follow-up results in patients suffering from colorectal carcinoma who had undergone surgery for cure, tried a more rational follow-up.
Methods: In a retrospective review about 232 patients who adhered to the follow-up protocol, we evaluated the accuracy rates of CEA, liver ultrasonography and abdominal CT. In the same group of patients. we evaluated the type of correlation between the neoplastic recurrence rate and Astler-Coller's classification.
Results: (1) In detecting hepatic metastases CEA levels furnished sensitivity and negative predictive value more than liver ultrasonography (83.3 vs. 77.8% and 98.4 vs. 98%, respectively); (2) in our series, we obtained a lower recurrence rate in classes A+B1 (7.5%) and B2 (20.8%) and higher in C1+C2 (44.4%) and D (66.7%) (p < 0.0 1).
Conclusion: According to these data we decided to eliminate postoperative liver ultrasonography and customize follow-up protocol on tumor staging and timing of cancer relapse. The authors believe that these changes will not modify the results, but cause less psychophysical stress for the patients and reduce costs by 50%.
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