Presentation at computed tomography (CT) scan of the thorax and first year diagnostic and treatment utilization among patients diagnosed with lung cancer.
ABSTRACT: As Medicare expands the use of computed tomography (CT) for diagnosing lung cancer, there is increased opportunity to diagnose lung cancer in asymptomatic patients. This descriptive study characterizes the disease-specific diagnostic and treatment services that patients with a positive diagnosis following CT received, stratified by presentation at CT.Patients who were diagnosed with lung cancer following CT in 2013, had no history of lung cancer, survived at least 1 year, were aged 55-80 years, and had Medicare Advantage insurance were included. Patients were grouped based upon presentation at CT: morbidities unrelated to lung cancer, classic lung cancer symptoms, and cancer syndromes. Patients with none of these factors were categorized into a no diagnoses/symptoms group. The type and intensity of services used in the year following the CT was reported for each group.1,261 patients were included. Early treatment services were most common in the group with morbidities unrelated to lung cancer (13.7%) and least common in the cancer syndromes group (6.6%). Advanced treatment services were used by 47.3% of the cancer syndromes group versus 23.5% of the no diagnoses/symptoms group.The intensity of disease-specific diagnostic and treatment services varied by presentation at CT. Patients with no symptoms or morbidities at the time of CT less frequently received advanced interventions. Learning about the utilization patterns of others with a similar presentation at CT may help patients with positive lung cancer diagnoses engage in shared decision making and in norming their experiences against those of other similarly-situated patients.
Project description:Abdominopelvic vascular compression syndromes include a variety of uncommon conditions characterized by either extrinsic compression of blood vessels by adjacent anatomical structures (i.e., median arcuate ligament syndrome, nutcracker syndrome, May-Thurner syndrome) or compression of hollow viscera by adjacent vessels (i.e., superior mesenteric artery syndrome, ureteropelvic junction obstruction, ureteral vascular compression syndromes, portal biliopathy). These syndromes can be unexpectedly diagnosed even in asymptomatic patients and the predisposing anatomic conditions can be incidentally discovered on imaging examinations performed for other indications, or they can manifest with atypical abdominal symptoms and acute complications, which may lead to significant morbidity if unrecognized. Although computed tomography (CT) is an accurate noninvasive technique for their detection, the diagnosis remains challenging due to the uncommon clinical presentation and often overlooked imaging features. Dynamic imaging may be performed in order to evaluate patients with inconstant symptoms manifesting in a specific position. The purposes of this paper are to review the CT imaging findings of abdominopelvic vascular compression syndromes, correlating with anatomical variants and to provide key features for the noninvasive imaging diagnosis.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:To date, no consensus has been reached on the optimal management of congenital lung abnormalities, and factors predicting postnatal outcome have not been identified. We developed an objective quantitative computed tomography (CT) scoring method, and assessed its value for clinical decision-making. METHODS:Volumetric CT-scans of all patients born with a congenital lung abnormality between January 1999 and 2018 were assessed. Lung disease was quantified using the newly-developed congenital lung abnormality quantification (CLAQ) scoring method. In 20 equidistant axial slices, cells of a square grid were scored according to the abnormality within. The scored CT parameters were used to predict development of symptoms, and SD scores for spirometry and exercise tolerance (Bruce treadmill test) at 8 years of age. RESULTS:CT-scans of 124 patients with a median age of 5 months were scored. Clinical diagnoses included congenital pulmonary airway malformation (49%), bronchopulmonary sequestration (27%), congenital lobar overinflation (22%), and bronchogenic cyst (1%). Forty-four patients (35%) developed symptoms requiring surgery of whom 28 (22%) patients became symptomatic before a CT-scan was scheduled. Lesional hyperdensity was found as an important predictor of symptom development and decreased exercise tolerance. Using receiver operating characteristic analysis, an optimal cut-off value for developing symptoms was found at 18% total disease. CONCLUSION:CT-quantification of congenital lung abnormalities using the CLAQ method is an objective and reproducible system to describe congenital lung abnormalities on chest CT. The risk for developing symptoms may increase when more than a single lung lobe is affected.
Project description:BACKGROUND: In previous years, out- of-hours primary care has been organised in large-scale organisations in many countries. This may have lowered the threshold for many patients to present health problems at nights and during the weekend. Comparisons of out-of-hours care between countries require internationally comparable figures on symptoms and diagnoses, which were not available. This study aimed to describe the symptoms and diagnoses in out-of-hours primary care services in regions in eight European countries. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective observational study based on medical records from out-of-hours primary care services in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Spain, and Switzerland. We aimed to include data on 1000 initial contacts from up to three organisations per country. Excluded were contacts with an administrative reason. The International Classification for Primary Care (ICPC) was used to categorise symptoms and diagnoses. In two countries (Slovenia and Spain) ICD10 codes were translated into ICPC codes. RESULTS: The age distribution of patients showed a high consistency across countries, while the percentage of males varied from 33.7% to 48.3%. The ICPC categories that were used most frequently concerned: chapter A 'general and unspecified symptoms' (mean 13.2%), chapter R 'respiratory' (mean 20.4%), chapter L 'musculoskeletal' (mean 15.0%), chapter S 'skin' (mean 12.5%), and chapter D 'digestive' (mean 11.6%). So, relatively high numbers of patients presenting with infectious diseases or acute pain related syndromes. This was largely consistent across age groups, but in some age groups chapter H ('ear problems'), chapter L ('musculoskeletal') and chapter K ('cardiovascular') were frequently used. Acute life-threatening problems had a low incidence. CONCLUSIONS: This international study suggested a highly similar diagnostic scope in out-of-hours primary care services. The incidence rates of acute life-threatening health problems were low in all countries.
Project description:This prospective cohort study aimed to identify symptom and patient factors that influence time to lung cancer diagnosis and stage at diagnosis.Data relating to symptoms were collected from patients upon referral with symptoms suspicious of lung cancer in two English regions; we also examined primary care and hospital records for diagnostic routes and diagnoses. Descriptive and regression analyses were used to investigate associations between symptoms and patient factors with diagnostic intervals and stage.Among 963 participants, 15.9% were diagnosed with primary lung cancer, 5.9% with other thoracic malignancies and 78.2% with non-malignant conditions. Only half the cohort had an isolated first symptom (475, 49.3%); synchronous first symptoms were common. Haemoptysis, reported by 21.6% of cases, was the only initial symptom associated with cancer. Diagnostic intervals were shorter for cancer than non-cancer diagnoses (91 vs 124 days, P=0.037) and for late-stage than early-stage cancer (106 vs 168 days, P=0.02). Chest/shoulder pain was the only first symptom with a shorter diagnostic interval for cancer compared with non-cancer diagnoses (P=0.003).Haemoptysis is the strongest symptom predictor of lung cancer but occurs in only a fifth of patients. Programmes for expediting earlier diagnosis need to focus on multiple symptoms and their evolution.
Project description:We studied the rate of incidental detection of lung carcinomas and its effect on long-term survival in a nationwide cohort of patients operated for nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC). All patients operated for NSCLC in Iceland during 1991-2010 were included. Demographic and clinicopathological features were compared in patients diagnosed incidentally using chest radiography or computed tomography (CT), and in those with symptomatic presentation. Multivariate analysis was used to evaluate prognostic factors. Out of 508 patients, 174 (34%) were diagnosed incidentally; in 26% of cases by chest radiography and in 8% by CT. The CT-detected tumours were significantly smaller than symptomatic tumours, diagnosed at earlier TNM (tumour, node and metastasis) stages and more often of adenocarcinoma histology. 5-year cancer-specific survival for symptomatic versus incidentally diagnosed patients detected by chest radiography and CT was 41%, 57% and 68%, respectively (p=0.003). After adjusting for stage, the hazard ratio (HR) for NSCLC mortality was significantly lower for incidental diagnosis by CT (HR 0.55, 95% CI 0.31?0.98; p=0.04) compared to incidental diagnosis by chest radiography (HR 0.95, 95% CI 0.70?1.27; p=0.71) or symptomatic diagnosis (HR 1.0). One-third of surgically treated NSCLCs were detected incidentally, with an increasing rate of incidental CT diagnosis. NSCLC patients diagnosed incidentally by CT appear to have better survival than those diagnosed incidentally by chest radiography, and particularly those who present with symptoms.
Project description:Objective:To describe rates of low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) and all chest computerized tomography (CT) before and after Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) initiated reimbursement and requirements for screening and to describe factors associated with receipt of LDCT. Patients and Methods:Retrospective cross-sectional study of Medicare enrollees aged 55 to 77 in Parts A and B Medicare without HMO enrollment in a 20% national sample (n=3,887,430 in 2010, 4,200,875 in 2015, and 4,145,542 in 2016). The outcomes were receipt of LDCT and any chest CT from January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2016. Other measures included enrollee demographic characteristics and diagnoses, including diagnoses of tobacco use. Results:The number of enrollees aged 55 to 77 with LDCT rose throughout 2015 and early 2016, and then plateaued. In 2016, 0.44% of enrollees, and 2.21% of those with a tobacco-use diagnosis, underwent LDCT screening. There were increases in the rate of any chest CT (LDCT or diagnostic) between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2016, and most of this was accounted for by LDCTs. Conclusions:Two years after CMS approval for lung cancer screening reimbursement, less than 5% of the Medicare population eligible for screening received LDCT. More work is required to identify and modify the barriers for LDCT screening.
Project description:Individuals with undiagnosed lung and colorectal cancers present with non-specific symptoms in primary care more often than matched controls. Increased access to diagnostic services for patients with symptoms generates more early-stage diagnoses, but the mechanisms for this are only partially understood.We re-analysed a UK-based case-control study to estimate the Symptom Lead Time (SLT) distribution for a range of potential symptom criteria for investigation. Symptom Lead Time is the time between symptoms caused by cancer and eventual diagnosis, and is analogous to Lead Time in a screening programme. We also estimated the proportion of symptoms in lung and colorectal cancer cases that are actually caused by the cancer.Mean Symptom Lead Times were between 4.1 and 6.0 months, with medians between 2.0 and 3.2 months. Symptom Lead Time did not depend on stage at diagnosis, nor which criteria for investigation are adopted. Depending on the criteria, an estimated 27-48% of symptoms in individuals with as yet undiagnosed lung cancer, and 12-32% with undiagnosed colorectal cancer are not caused by the cancer.In most cancer cases detected by a symptom-based programme, the symptoms are caused by cancer. These cases have a short lead time and benefit relatively little. However, in a significant minority of cases cancer detection is serendipitous. This group experiences the benefits of a standard screening programme, a substantial mean lead time and a higher probability of early-stage diagnosis.
Project description:Studies on alternative routes to diagnosis stimulated successful policy interventions reducing the number of emergency diagnoses and associated mortality risk. A dearth of evidence on the costs of such interventions might prevent new policies from achieving more ambitious targets.We conducted a retrospective cohort study on the population of colorectal (88,051), breast (90,387), prostate (96,219), and lung (97,696) cancer patients diagnosed after a GP referral or an emergency presentation and reported in the Cancer Registry of England. Resource use and survival were compared 1 year before and 5 years after diagnosis (3 years for lung), including the costs of GP referrals not converted into a positive diagnosis. Risk-adjusted statistical models were used to calculate the effect of rerouting patient' diagnoses from emergency presentation to GP referral.Rerouting a cancer diagnosis results in a relatively small additional costs to the National Health System against additional years of life saved to the patient. The cost per year of life saved is £6456 in colorectal, £1057 in breast, -£662 in prostate (savings), and £819 in lung cancer. Reducing the overall prevalence of emergency presentations to the level achieved by the 20% of Clinical Commissioning Groups with the lowest prevalence would result in £11,481,948 against 1863 years of life saved for Colorectal, £847,750 against 889 years for breast, -£943,434 (cost savings) against 1195 years for prostate, and £609,938 against 1011 years for lung cancer.Redirecting diagnoses from emergency presentation to GP referral appears an achievable target that can produce large benefits to patients against modest additional costs to the National Health System.
Project description:INTRODUCTION: This paper reports on an ongoing primary care audit of cancer referrals undertaken in Scotland in 2006-2007 and 2007-2008. METHODS: General practitioners (GPs) in Scotland were asked to review all new cancer diagnoses within their practice during the preceding year. RESULTS: 4181 patients were identified in year 1 and 12 294 in year 2. The pathway taken for patients to present to, and be referred from, their GP has been analysed for 7430 of the 12 294 patients identified within year 2 across five separate health boards. The time from first symptoms to presentation to a GP varied between tumour types, being the longest (median 30 days) for head and neck cancers and the shortest (median 2 days) for bladder cancer. In all, 25% of patients within the following tumour groups waited longer than 2 months to present to their GP following first symptoms: prostate, colorectal, melanoma and head and neck cancers. Once patients had presented to their GP, those with prostate and lung cancer were referred later (median time 11 days) than those with breast cancer (median time 2 days). The priority with which GPs referred patients varied considerably between tumour groups (breast cancer 77.5% 'urgent' compared with prostate cancer 44.7% 'urgent'). In one health board the proportion of cancer patients being referred urgently increased from 46% to 58% between the first and second audit. CONCLUSION: Our data show that there are very different patterns of presentation and referral for patients with cancer, with some tumour groups being more likely to be associated with a delayed diagnosis than others.
Project description:CHD is frequently associated with a genetic syndrome. These syndromes often present specific cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular co-morbidities that confer significant peri-operative risks affecting multiple organ systems. Although surgical outcomes have improved over time, these co-morbidities continue to contribute substantially to poor peri-operative mortality and morbidity outcomes. Peri-operative morbidity may have long-standing ramifications on neurodevelopment and overall health. Recognising the cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular risks associated with specific syndromic diagnoses will facilitate expectant management, early detection of clinical problems, and improved outcomes--for example, the development of syndrome-based protocols for peri-operative evaluation and prophylactic actions may improve outcomes for the more frequently encountered syndromes such as 22q11 deletion syndrome.