Emergency room imaging in patients with genitourinary cancers: analysis of the spectrum of CT findings and their relation to patient outcomes
Emerg Radiol . 2020 Aug;27(4):413-421. doi: 10.1007/s10140-020-01774-5. Epub 2020 Apr 6.
Sungmin Woo, Jad Bou Ayache, Peter Sawan, Julian Infantino, Natalie Gangai, Andreas Wibmer, Hedvig Hricak, Jeffrey S Groeger, Hebert Alberto Vargas
Purpose: To assess the spectrum of computed tomography (CT) findings in patients with genitourinary cancers visiting the emergency room (ER) and evaluate the relationship between CT findings and overall survival (OS).
Methods: Retrospective analysis of consecutive patients with genitourinary cancers undergoing CT during an ER visit at a tertiary cancer center during a 20-month period. CTs were considered positive if there were findings relevant to the presenting complaint(s). Demographic/clinical variables were recorded. OS was evaluated using Kaplan-Meier curves. Univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression (HR) was used to evaluate OS predictors.
Results: Two hundred twenty-seven patients (243 visits) were included. The most common primary tumors were prostate (121 [49.8%]), bladder/urothelial (78 [32.1%]), and renal (69 [28.4%]). Common presenting complaints were abdominal pain (67 [27.6%]), respiratory symptoms (49 [20.2%]), neurological signs (37 [15.2%]), and fever (34 [14.0%]). CT findings were positive in 172 patients (70.8%) and included new/increased metastases (21.4% [52/243]), fluid collections (7.4% [18/243]), urinary tract infection/inflammation (6.2% [15/243]), enteritis/colitis (5.3% [13/243]), and pneumonia (4.9% [12/243]). A positive ER CT was associated with patient admission (p = 0.01). At multivariate analysis, independently predictive factors of shorter survival were positive ER CT (HR = 2.09 [95% CI 1.16-3.76, p = 0.01), hospital admission (HR = 2.17 [95% CI 1.38-3.41], p < 0.01), and recent systemic treatment (HR = 2.10 [95% CI 1.32-3.35], p < 0.01).
Conclusion: When CT was performed, it was able to identify a structural cause for the presenting complaint in the majority of patients with genitourinary cancers attending the ER. A positive ER CT was associated with hospital admission and poorer overall survival.
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