The utility of computed tomography scans in predicting suboptimal cytoreductive surgery in women with advanced ovarian carcinoma

Sean C. Dowdy, Sally A. Mullany, Kathy R. Brandt, Bonnie J. Huppert, William A. Cliby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

147 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. Computed tomography (CT) scans of the abdomen and pelvis may predict which patients with ovarian carcinoma can undergo optimal cytoreduction at primary surgery. Previous studies have demonstrated that patients with ovarian carcinoma had optimal cytoreduction rates ranging from 50-60%. The authors sought to determine whether these findings applied to a surgical practice with a higher rate of optimal debulking. A predictive model using CT scanning and CA 125 values would allow the authors to determine which patients would be more appropriately treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy. METHODS. Preoperative CT scans for patients with Stage III/IV ovarian carcinoma (according to the staging system of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics) who were treated between 1996 and 2001 were evaluated retrospectively by 2 radiologists for 17 criteria evaluating the extent of disease. Clinical data were extracted from medical records. Residual tumors measuring ≥ 1 cm were considered suboptimal. Logistic regression was used to evaluate which criteria correlated with optimal cytoreduction. RESULTS. Eighty-seven patients were identified retrospectively who met entry criteria and had preoperative CT scans of sufficient diagnostic quality. Sixty-two patients (71%) received optimal cytoreductive surgery and 45 (52%) required aggressive surgical procedures. In a multivariate model, only diffuse peritoneal thickening (DPT) independently predicted suboptimal surgical resection (P = 0.016). However, a model using both DPT and ascites on most CT scans had a positive predictive value of 68% and a sensitivity of 52% for predicting suboptimal cytoreduction. CONCLUSIONS. The presence of DPT and large-volume ascites was associated with a very low rate of optimal cytoreduction (32%) in a surgical practice. These patients may be more appropriately treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by surgical cytoreduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-352
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 15 2004


  • CA 125
  • Chemotherapy
  • Cytoreduction
  • Ovarian carcinoma
  • Radiologic imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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