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May 27, 1983

Only CT finds some ovarian cancer spread

JAMA. 1983;249(20):2751-2752. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330440009004

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In the largest study of its kind carried out so far, computed tomography (CT) has proved more accurate in measuring the extent of ovarian carcinoma than conventional clinical examination. It can also in some cases prevent the need for more than one laparatomy, according to George R. P. Blackledge, BChir, MB, MRCP, and associates at Christie Hospital, Manchester, England.

Among 75 women with ovarian carcinoma, CT scans revealed undetected disease in the uteri of 13 and on the pelvic side walls of 25, Blackledge told the recent annual meeting of the British Association for Cancer Research in York, England. In only four patients did clinical examination turn up disease not visualized by CT, he said.

Further, the scanning revealed 72 abdominal tumors undetected by clinical examination, hematologic studies, ultrasound, routine liver biopsy, and other tests. Also, CT consistently identified previously undetectable retroperitoneal lymphadenopathy, hepatic metastases, and small amounts of ascites.