Current guidelines recommend routine imaging surveillance for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) after treatment. Little is known about surveillance patterns for patients with surgically resected early-stage lung cancer in the community at large. We sought to characterize surveillance patterns in a national cohort.We conducted a retrospective study using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End-Results (SEER)-Medicare database (1995-2010). Patients with stage I/II NSCLC treated with surgical resection were included. Our primary outcome was receipt of imaging between 4 and 8 months after the surgical procedure. Covariates included demographics and comorbidities.Chest radiography (CXR) was the most frequent initial modality (60%), followed by chest computed tomography (CT) (25%). Positron emission tomography (PET) was least frequent as an initial imaging modality (3%). A total of 13% of patients received no imaging within the initial surveillance period. Adherence to National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines for imaging by overall prevalence was 47% for receipt of CT; however, rates of CT increased over time from 28% to 61% (p < 0.01). Reduced rates of CT were associated with stage I disease and surgical resection as the sole treatment modality.Imaging after definitive surgical treatment for NSCLC predominantly used CXR rather than CT. Most of this imaging is likely for surveillance, and in that context CXR has inferior detection rates for recurrence and new cancers. Adherence to guideline-recommended CT surveillance after surgical treatment is poor, but the reasons are multifactorial. Efforts to improve adherence to imaging surveillance must be coupled with greater evidence demonstrating improved long-term outcomes.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2014.06.067
View details for Web of Science ID 000345743200017
View details for PubMedID 25282167