Tumor recurrence of keratinocyte carcinomas judged appropriate for Mohs micrographic surgery using Appropriate Use Criteria

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BackgroundThe use of Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) has increased greatly to treat basal cell and cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas (keratinocyte carcinoma [KC]), and consensus-based Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) were developed to identify tumors for which MMS is appropriate.ObjectiveWe sought to compare recurrence rates after different treatments in tumors judged appropriate for MMS.MethodsWe used data from an observational prospective cohort study and retrospectively categorized consecutive tumors as appropriate for MMS according to the AUC. Among appropriate tumors, we used survival analyses to compare 5-year recurrence rates after treatments.ResultsAmong tumors appropriate for MMS (N = 1483), adjusted 5-year recurrence rates were 2.9% (range, 1.4-4.3%) after MMS, 5.5% (range, 3.1-7.9%) after excision, 4.0% (range, 0.6-7.2%) after destruction, and 5.9% (range, 1.5-10.2%) after other treatments. In tumors treated only with MMS or excision (the most similar subgroups), the adjusted hazard ratio of 5-year recurrence after MMS was 0.6 (95% confidence interval, 0.3-1.0; P = .06).LimitationsThis study is limited by its uncertain generalizability, lack of randomization, and unmeasured characteristics.ConclusionThe AUC identified tumors for which recurrence would be less common after MMS than after excision, but the absolute difference in recurrence rates was small.

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