Objectives Pulmonary metastasis is frequent in rectal cancer. Some guidelines recommend chest computerized tomography (CT) for preoperative workup in rectal cancer patients, which have no solid evidence to support this recommendation. This study was designed to evaluate the role of chest CT on preoperative staging in rectal cancer patients and to assess the impact on treatment strategy. Methods Data were prospectively collected from 103 clinically T3/T4 mid or lower rectal cancer patients who had chest X-ray (CXR) and CT to evaluate lung metastasis. The chest images were classified into four groups: metastasis, indeterminate, benign, and negative. Patients showing indeterminate lesions had follow-up CTs at 3-to 6-month intervals. Results Nine patients (8.7%) had pulmonary metastases detected on CT. CXR did not reveal any pulmonary metastatic lesions in four of the nine patients. Of these four, treatment was changed in three patients because of these findings. Forty (38.8%) patients had indeterminate nodules on chest CT. Of these, 37 patients had follow-up CTs and four patients (10.8%) showed interval changes that were confirmed as pulmonary metastasis. Conclusions It seems reasonable to perform chest CT for preoperative staging in patients with T3/T4 mid or lower rectal cancer.
- chest computerized tomography
- indeterminate nodule
- pulmonary metastasis
- rectal cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas