Diagnostic accuracy of endoscopic ultrasound, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and endorectal ultrasonography for detecting lymph node involvement in patients with rectal cancer: A protocol for an overview of systematic reviews

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Abstract

Background:

Rectal cancer is one of the most common tumors and is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in developed countries. Lymph node involvement remains the strongest prognostic factor associated with a worse prognosis in patients with rectal cancer. Several systematic reviews have investigated the accuracy of endoscopic ultrasound, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and endorectal ultrasonography for lymph node involvement of rectal cancer and compared the diagnostic accuracy of different imaging techniques, but there are considerable differences in conclusions. This study aims to assess the methodological quality and reporting quality of systematic reviews and to determine which diagnostic imaging techniques is the optimal modality for the diagnosis of lymph node involvement in patients with rectal cancer.

Methods:

We will search PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and Chinese Biomedicine Literature to identify relevant studies from inception to June 2018. We will include systematic reviews that evaluated the accuracy of diagnostic imaging techniques for lymph node involvement. The methodological quality will be assessed using AMASAR checklist, and the reporting quality will be assessed using PRISMA-DTA checklist. The pairwise meta-analysis and indirect comparisons will be performed using STATA V.12.0.

Results:

The results of this overview will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication.

Conclusion:

This overview will provide comprehensive evidence of different diagnostic imaging techniques for detecting lymph node involvement in patients with rectal cancer.

Ethics and dissemination:

Ethics approval and patient consent are not required as this study is an overview based on published systematic reviews.

PROSPERO registration number:

CRD42018104906.

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