Regional and inter-hospital differences in the utilisation of liver surgery for patients with synchronous colorectal liver metastases in the Netherlands.
BACKGROUND The aim of this study was to determine whether selection with fluorine-18-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) imaging would result in an improved outcome in surgically treated patients with curative resection of colorectal liver metastases (CRLM), stratified by the clinical risk score (CRS) of Fong et al. [Ann Surg 1999;230:309-318]. PATIENTS AND METHODS Between January 2000 and December 2009, all patients who underwent resection for CRLM from two different university teaching hospitals in the Netherlands were analysed. Patients were stratified by the CRS. RESULTS In total 613 patients were eligible for analysis. There was no statistical difference in median disease-free survival (DFS) between patients with and without an FDG-PET scan in both low CRS [17 months (95% CI 12-22) vs. 14 months (95% CI 11-17), p = 0.332] and high CRS [14 months (95% CI 7-21) vs. 9 months (95% CI 8-10), p = 0.073]. There was no statistical difference in median overall survival (OS) between patients with and without an FDG-PET scan in both low CRS [64 months (95% CI 54-74) vs. 54 months (95% CI 42-66), p = 0.663] and high CRS [39 months (95% CI 23-55) vs. 41 months (95% CI 34-48), p = 0.903]. CONCLUSION The present study could not demonstrate that patients selected by an FDG-PET scan before liver resection, and stratified by CRS, have an improvement in DFS or OS.