Geographic disparities in diagnostic screening for metastatic uveal melanoma

Dan S. Gombos, Kurtis R. Van Quill, Marita Uusitalo, Joan M. O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

To evaluate current practice patterns in diagnostic screening for asymptomatic metastatic uveal melanoma. Survey. Ocular oncologists practicing in North America (United States, Canada) and Europe. Questionnaire sent to specialists participating in the Collaborative Ocular Melanoma Study (COMS) or listed in the Ophthalmic Oncology Task Force of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer. Methods used to screen patients with uveal melanoma for asymptomatic metastasis at initial presentation and follow-up. Thirty-six of 43 (84%) North American (COMS) specialists and 57 of 103 (55%) European specialists responded to the survey. At presentation, 6 of 36 (17%) North American specialists, versus 54 of 57 (95%) European specialists, performed at least one type of liver imaging study (computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasonography, or nuclear medicine) (P<0.0001). On follow-up, only 1 of 36 (3%) North American specialists, versus 45 of 57 (79%) European specialists, obtained a liver imaging study (P<0.0001). Thirty-six of 36 (100%) North American specialists, versus 49 of 57 (86%) European specialists, ordered chest x-rays at presentation (P<0.02). This disparity was greater at the time of follow-up, when 28 of 36 (78%) North American specialists, versus 28 of 57 (49%) European specialists, ordered chest x-rays (P<0.01). Similar proportions of specialists in North America and Europe obtained a physical examination and liver function tests at the time of presentation and on subsequent follow-up examination. Significant differences exist between ocular oncologists in North America and Europe in the use of techniques to screen for metastatic uveal melanoma. North American COMS centers rely primarily upon liver function tests and chest x-rays. The majority of European centers use liver ultrasonography at initial diagnosis and continue to do so every 6 months. Cost-effective screening protocols for patients with uveal melanoma should be designed and implemented uniformly among ocular oncologists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2254-2258
Number of pages5
JournalOphthalmology
Volume111
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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