Management of postmenopausal bleeding by general practitioners in a community setting: an observational study

Resource type
Authors/contributors
Title
Management of postmenopausal bleeding by general practitioners in a community setting: an observational study
Abstract
AIM: To evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a clinical pathway for investigation of postmenopausal bleeding (PMB), managed primarily by general practitioners. Women with an endometrial thickness (ET) ≥5mm on transvaginal ultrasound (TVUS) require either a pipelle biopsy in primary care or referral for specialist care. METHOD: Data on 241 women with PMB were reviewed retrospectively over a 5-year follow-up period. Twenty-five women were excluded as they did not satisfy PMB clinical pathway criteria. RESULTS: TVUS showed 121 women had an ET <5mm, 83 an ET ≥5mm, and 12 an endometrial polyp. In the women with ET ≥5mm, 38 had a pipelle biopsy performed in primary care, 36 were referred directly to secondary care, and 9 declined further investigations. Only 17 pipelle biopsies provided sufficient tissue, with the remaining 21 women referred to secondary care. Seven cases of endometrial cancer were identified, 4 by pipelle biopsy and 3 by hysteroscopy. Of the study cohort, 68% were managed solely by their general practitioner to the point of diagnosis, while 81% with an ET ≥5mm required management in secondary care at some stage. No further cases of endometrial cancer were identified in reviews of patient medical records and cancer registries. CONCLUSION: Community-based investigation of PMB is an alternative model of care with no evidence of additional risks to the patient. Targeted education of general practitioners on pipelle biopsies is essential to maximise the effectiveness of the pathway.
Publication
The New Zealand Medical Journal
Volume
129
Issue
1434
Pages
59-68
Date
May 06, 2016
Journal Abbr
N. Z. Med. J.
Language
eng
ISSN
1175-8716
Short Title
Management of postmenopausal bleeding by general practitioners in a community setting
Library Catalog
PubMed
Extra
PMID: 27349264
Citation
Stravens, M., Langdana, F., Short, J., Johnson, K., Simcock, B., Shand, B., McGeoch, G., & Sykes, P. (2016). Management of postmenopausal bleeding by general practitioners in a community setting: an observational study. The New Zealand Medical Journal, 129(1434), 59–68. https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal-articles/management-of-postmenopausal-bleeding-by-general-practitioners-in-a-community-setting-an-observational-study
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