The value of full-lung tomograms and of bone scanning in the initial work-up of patients with osteogenic sarcoma is evaluated in 126 consecutive cases observed at the Bone Tumor Center of the Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli from July 1976 to December 1980. Full-lung tomograms and bone scanning showed unsuspected metastases in 3 patients and 2 patients respectively. False abnormal results were observed in 4 cases by tomography and in 3 cases by bone scan. The authors conclude that in osteosarcoma, the yields of full-lung tomography and of bone scanning are small in detecting unsuspected lung and bone metastases at the time of presentation. It therefore appears improbable that the improvements recently observed in this tumor with adjuvant chemotherapy are the result of unintentional case selection bias due to these examinations not having been performed in the historical group.
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