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05.02.2018 | Original Article - Brain Tumors | Ausgabe 4/2018

Acta Neurochirurgica 4/2018

The role of computed tomography in the screening of patients presenting with symptoms of an intracranial tumour

Zeitschrift:
Acta Neurochirurgica > Ausgabe 4/2018
Autoren:
Sharri Junadi Mortensen, Shima Naebi Bjerrum, Stine Frost Hedegaard, Anna Tietze, Hanne Gottrup, Gorm von Oettingen

Abstract

Background

To improve the quality of care for brain cancer patients, the Danish Ministry of Health has set standards for the diagnosis and treatment. When a patient is suspected of having a malignant tumour involving the brain, it is required that a magnetic resonance imaging of the cerebrum (MRI-C) be obtained within seven calendar days of referral from a primary care provider. This standard has the potential to consume MR imaging time that might otherwise be used for evaluation or treatment monitoring of other patients. This study primarily aims to assess the sensitivity of computed tomography of the brain (CT-C) for the detection of intracranial tumour as the initial diagnostic imaging.

Methods

This is a single-center retrospective study of patients referred to the IBCP with brain cancer suspicion. The average follow-up was 37 months. All included patients underwent a CT-C scan and subsequently a MRI-C if deemed necessary. The study population was divided into two groups based on the findings: tumour versus non-tumour. Sensitivity and specificity of the CT-C was calculated.

Results

Eight hundred seventeen patients were included. Median age was 55 years and 50% were male. CT-C had a sensitivity of 98.5% and a specificity of 98.4%. The overall mortality rate was 7% in the non-tumour group and 58% in the tumour group over the course of the study period. The tumour group was on average older compared to the non-tumour group (65 years [55–75 years] vs 52 years [38–65 years]) p < .001). The only symptom associated with brain tumour was the presence of a focal deficit (p = .002).

Conclusion

This study shows that CT-C scans are highly sensitive and specific and can be used as the primary screening tool for patients referred with a suspicion for brain cancer.

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