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Adrenal incidentalomas and effectiveness of patient pathway transformation

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INTRODUCTION. A total of 10% of older individuals harbour adrenal incidentalomas and need dedicated adrenal CT to exclude malignancy and biochemical evaluation. These investigations tax medical resources, and diagnostic delay may cause anxiety for the patient. We implemented a no-need-to-see pathway (NNTS) in which low-risk patients only attend the clinic if adrenal CT or hormonal evaluation is abnormal.

METHODS. We investigated the impact of a NNTS pathway on the share of patients not requiring an attendance consultation, time to malignancy and hormonal clarification, and time to end of investigation. We prospectively registered adrenal incidentaloma cases (n = 347) and compared them with historical controls (n = 103).

RESULTS. All controls attended the clinic. A total of 63% of cases entered and 84% completed the NNTS pathway without seeing an endocrinologist; 53% of consultations were avoided. Time-to-event analysis revealed a shorter time to clarification of malignancy (28 days; 95% confidence interval (CI): 24-30 days versus 64 days; 95% CI: 47-117 days) and hormonal status (43 days; 95% CI: 38-48 days versus 56 days; 95% CI: 47-68 days) and a shorter time to end of pathway (47 days; 95% CI: 42-55 days versus 112 days; 95% CI: 84-131 days) in cases than controls (p ≤ 0.01).

CONCLUSION. We demonstrated that NNTS pathways may be an efficient way of handling the increased burden of incidental radiological findings, avoiding 53% of attendance consultations and achieving a shorter time to end of pathway.

TidsskriftDanish Medical Journal
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - maj 2023

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
FUNDING. Supported by a grant from Regional Hospital Central Denmark, Denmark. The study was approved by the institutional review boards of all participating hospitals.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2012, British Psychological Society. All rights reserved.

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