Evaluation of triage tool for low-grade cartilage tumors: Four-quadrant approach

Katherine M Schumacher, Timothy A Damron
Journal of Surgical Oncology 2021 September 29

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The "four-quadrant approach" (FQA) for triage of benign enchondromas (E) and low-grade malignant chondrosarcomas (LGC) divides patients into treatment categories based on the presence or absence of pain and observation of aggressive or benign radiographic features. This article evaluates the usefulness of the FQA in predicting E versus LGC and operative versus nonoperative outcome.

METHODS: Patients had working diagnosis of E or LGC, 1-year minimum follow-up, imaging, clinical data, outcomes, and no radiographic evidence of high-grade chondrosarcoma. Statistical analysis determined whether quadrant distribution correlated to E versus LGC and operative versus nonoperative intervention.

RESULTS: Of 56 lesions (49 patients), 9 were LGC and 47 E. Twenty-five lesions (all 9 LGC, 16 E) were treated operatively and 31 (all E) nonoperatively. There were statistically significant correlations between quadrant distribution and both tumor type (p = 1.9 × 10-6 ) and operative intervention (p = 6.28 × 10-6 ).

CONCLUSIONS: The FQA is a promising diagnostic tool to distinguish between E and LGC hyaline cartilage tumors, along with determining operative versus nonoperative intervention. Prospective evaluation is warranted.

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