(1) A clinical risk score (CRS) is useful in selecting patients for diagnostic laparoscopy prior to planned resection of colorectal metastasis. (2) Preventing unnecessary celiotomy in these patients undergoing laparoscopy is associated with shorter hospital stays and earlier administration of systemic chemotherapy.
Retrospective analysis of data collected in a prospective database.
Tertiary cancer hospital.
Two hundred seventy-six patients who underwent laparoscopy prior to planned partial hepatic resection (n = 264) for colorectal metastases or prior to hepatic artery infusion pump placement for colorectal metastases (n = 12).
Main Outcome Measures
The yield of laparoscopy for patients with potentially resectable tumors was analyzed in the context of a CRS, calculated by assigning 1 point for each of the following adverse, disease-related factors: lymph node–positive primary tumor, disease-free interval less than 12 months, more than 1 hepatic tumor, hepatic tumor greater than 5 cm, and cardio embryonic antigen level less than 200 ng/mL. The CRS represents the sum for each patient. Length of hospital stay and time to initiation of chemotherapy were compared in those patients determined to be unresectable.
Staging laparoscopy prevented nontherapeutic celiotomy in 10% of patients submitted to operation for a potentially curative partial hepatectomy (26 of 264) and in 33% of patients scheduled for pump placement only (4/12). The CRS correlated closely with the likelihood of identifying radiographically occult unresectable disease: 0 or 1, 4%; 2 or 3, 21%; and 4 or 5, 38%. Likewise, the percentage of patients avoiding an unnecessary celiotomy increased progressively with increasing CRS: 0 or 1, 0%; 2 or 3, 11%; and 4 or 5, 24%. Preventing an unnecessary celiotomy with laparoscopy was associated with a decreased length of hospital stay (P<.01) and earlier initiation of chemotherapy (P = .045).
Diagnostic laparoscopy does not need to be performed routinely in all patients prior to hepatic resection for colorectal cancer metastasis. Laparoscopy has a very low yield in patients with a CRS of 1 or less and is unnecessary. The yield of laparoscopy increases with increasing CRS. Preventing celiotomy with laparoscopy is associated with a decreased length of hospital stay and earlier initiation of postoperative chemotherapy.