Research Article| Volume 161, ISSUE 2, P361-366, May 2021

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The use of imaging in endometrial cancer prior to potential surgery: Are guidelines being followed?


      • Incidence of endometrial cancer has increased by approximately 3.6% yearly between 2006 and 2016.
      • Preoperative imaging increased from 22.2% of patients in 2006 to 39.3% of patients in 2016, representing a 77.0% increase.
      • There was no correlation between published guidelines in 2013 and decreasing use of preoperative imaging in low risk cancers.



      Clinical practice guidelines recommend against routine preoperative axial imaging studies (CT/MRI) for endometrial cancer, except for cases of locally advanced disease or aggressive histologies. This study utilized population-based data to evaluate the use of preoperative imaging and factors associated with its use.


      A population-based cohort of women diagnosed with endometrial cancer from 2006 to 2016 were identified from the Ontario Cancer Registry in Ontario, Canada. Patients were excluded if they had: hysterectomy prior to the date of diagnosis, non-epithelial histology or a prior cancer diagnosis within 5 years. Preoperative imaging (CT or MRI) rates were calculated over time. Predictive factors for preoperative imaging use were determined using multi-variable regression analysis.


      17,718 cases were eligible for analysis. From 2006 to 2016, the proportion of patients receiving preoperative imaging increased from 22.2% to 39.3%. In a subgroup of patients with low-risk disease (stage 1, endometrioid adenocarcinoma), imaging increased from 16.3% to 29.5%. Multivariate analysis showed an association between preoperative imaging and advanced stage, advanced grade, non-endometrioid morphology, surgery with a gynecologic oncologist, surgery at a teaching hospital and a later year of diagnosis. From 2006 to 2016, the yearly incidence of endometrial cancer increased from 22.3/100,000 to 36.1/100,000, representing a mean annual increase of 3.6% per year.


      Endometrial cancer incidence and the use of preoperative imaging are increasing. Factors most associated with preoperative imaging are high-risk features. However, preoperative imaging is still being performed in low-risk patients, indicating non-adherence to guidelines, which has implications for constrained healthcare resources.


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