Objective. The role and type of procedures of follow-up in patients with gynecological tumors are still a debatable issue. We prospectively analyzed the role of routine transabdominal and transvaginal ultrasound examination (US) in the detection of recurrent disease in gynecologic cancer patients. Methods. Among 552 patients who underwent surgery for gynecological cancer, 385 were available for the analysis. Follow-up examinations included clinical examination, serum tumor marker assay, transvaginal and transabdominal sonography and CT scan/MRI. Results. Positive US examination was documented in 83/385 patients (21.5%). In the overall series, the positive predictive value (PPV) of US examination was 100%, while the negative predictive value (NPV) was 92.7% failing to identify 22 cases of recurrences. When considering the subgroup of patients with positive clinical examination or abnormal tumor marker, positive US analysis was able to identify 66/66 cases of recurrence (PPV = 100%), but exhibited an NPV of 22.2%, with 21/27 (77.8%) false negative cases. Conversely, in cases without clinical/serological signs of disease, positive US recognized all cases of recurrences (17/17, PPV = 100%), and exhibited a very high NPV, with only 1 false negative case out of 275 (0.4%). The US detected recurrences appeared as a solitary lesion in 38/75 (50.6%) patients and in 28/75 (37%) appeared located centrally in the pelvis. The sonographic pattern of the ovarian recurrences was a solid lesion in most (33/40, 82%) cases. In the other gynecological tumors, the lesions appeared as solid masses in 33/35 (94%) cases. Conclusions. We showed that routine US might play a role in the follow-up of gynecologic malignancies, especially in the group of asymptomatic patients, while CT/MRI imaging might be more properly applied to patients with clinical or serological signs of disease. © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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