Article: article from journal or magazin.
Shorter time to diagnosis and improved stage at presentation in Swiss patients with retinoblastoma treated from 1963 to 2004.
Publication types: Comparative Study ; Journal Article - Publication Status: ppublish
OBJECTIVES: Retinoblastoma is the most frequent intraocular malignancy in children. Early diagnosis is essential for globe salvage and patient survival. The aim of our study was to determine how time to diagnosis of retinoblastoma has evolved over a 40-year period in Switzerland. METHOD AND PATIENTS: A retrospective study of 139 Swiss patients with retinoblastoma was performed comparing 3 periods: (1) 1963-1983; (2) 1984-1993; and (3) 1994-2004. Factors taken into account were gender, laterality of retinoblastoma, age at first symptoms, type and first observer of symptoms, time to diagnosis, age at diagnosis, disease stage, and family history. RESULTS: Thirty-seven patients (26.6%) were treated in period 1, 44 (31.7%) in period 2, and 58 (41.7%) in period 3. Overall, the diagnostic interval decreased in a significant way from 6.97 months in period 1 to 3.58 in period 2 and to 2.25 in period 3. When looking separately at unilateral and bilateral disease, the decrease of the diagnostic interval remained statistically significant in unilateral retinoblastoma; there was also a significant reduction in the number of patients with advanced group E disease (Murphree classification) (61.5% in period 1, 46.7% in period 2, 22.2% in period 3). In bilateral disease, the same observations were made to a lesser extent. However, there were no cases with group E disease in 10 patients with positive family history. Leukocoria (48.2%) and strabismus (20.1%) were the 2 most frequent symptoms throughout the 3 periods. The only factors that statistically influenced the chances of having a diagnosis of group E disease were the diagnostic interval and period of diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: Progress has been made in the diagnosis of retinoblastoma in Switzerland, notably in unilateral disease. Improvement to a lesser extent has also been observed in bilateral cases but without statistical significance. Greater effort is needed to teach physicians-in-training to recognize the importance of ocular symptoms and refer patients earlier.
Child, Preschool, Disease Progression, Female, Humans, Infant, Male, Retinal Neoplasms, Retinoblastoma, Retrospective Studies, Switzerland, Time Factors
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