ASSESSING THE FREQUENCY OF CA-125 MEASUREMENTS WITHIN HAMILTON HEALTH SCIENCES AND ST. JOSEPH’S HEALTHCARE

A Nawara, H Hirte, P Kavsak

Abstract


Objective: To determined if the number and frequency of CA-125 measurements per patient reflect the 2008 NACB (National Academy of Clinical Biochemist) practice guidelines.

Methods: We collected data retrospectively on CA-125 over a period of one year as apart of our ongoing practice in monitoring the tumor markers for quality assurance, The number of CA-125 results per patient as well as the time interval between the 1st and 2nd measurements was noted. To enrich this population for the likelihood that the measurement of CA-125 was used for monitoring or for detection of recurrence, we divided the population into patients from the Jurvainski Cancer Centre (JCC) and the rest of the sites.

Results: The JCC patients contributed the majority of CA-125 results, representing over 75% of all results (n= 3057 results from 998 patients), whereas the remainder of the sites only yielded 959 results from 920 patients. Further analysis of the JCC patients indicated 2 main subgroups: Group A – patients with 1 or 2 results (n=624 patients); Group B - patients with 3 or more results , Overall, less than 4% of patients at the JCC had a time interval between the 1st and 2nd specimens of less than 2 weeks.

Discussion: This initial analysis would indicate that physicians are ordering CA-125 in agreement with the NACB guidelines. To further improve compliance to the guidelines and to prevent subsequent measurements of CA-125 too close, we propose restricting CA-125 orders that are less than 14 days apart to only those that receive Biochemist’s approval.



DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25011/cim.v32i6S.11143

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