International practice variation in perioperative laboratory testing in glioblastoma patients-a retrospective cohort study

Joeky T Senders, Sybren L N Maas, Kaspar Draaisma, John J McNulty, Joanna L Ashby, Imo Hofer, Wouter W van Solinge, Maarten Ten Berg, Tom J Snijders, Tatjana Seute, Pierre A Robe, William B Gormley, Timothy R Smith, Marike L D Broekman

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Abstract

Purpose: Although standard-of-care has been defined for the treatment of glioblastoma patients, substantial practice variation exists in the day-to-day clinical management. This study aims to compare the use of laboratory tests in the perioperative care of glioblastoma patients between two tertiary academic centers—Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Boston, USA, and University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU), Utrecht, the Netherlands. Methods: All glioblastoma patients treated according to standard-of-care between 2005 and 2013 were included. We compared the number of blood drawings and laboratory tests performed during the 70-day perioperative period using a Poisson regression model, as well as the estimated laboratory costs per patient. Additionally, we compared the likelihood of an abnormal test result using a generalized linear mixed effects model. Results: After correction for age, sex, IDH1 status, postoperative KPS score, length of stay, and survival status, the number of blood drawings and laboratory tests during the perioperative period were 3.7-fold (p < 0.001) and 4.7-fold (p < 0.001) higher, respectively, in BWH compared to UMCU patients. The estimated median laboratory costs per patient were 82 euros in UMCU and 256 euros in BWH. Furthermore, the likelihood of an abnormal test result was lower in BWH (odds ratio [OR] 0.75, p < 0.001), except when the prior test result was abnormal as well (OR 2.09, p < 0.001). Conclusions: Our results suggest a substantially lower clinical threshold for ordering laboratory tests in BWH compared to UMCU. Further investigating the clinical consequences of laboratory testing could identify over and underuse, decrease healthcare costs, and reduce unnecessary discomfort that patients are exposed to.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-392
Number of pages8
JournalActa Neurochirurgica
Volume164
Issue number2
Early online date7 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Keywords

  • Brain tumor
  • Glioblastoma
  • Laboratory testing
  • Practice variation

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