Association between image-defined risk factors and neuroblastoma outcomes

Hannah M. Phelps, Josephine M. Ndolo, Kyle J. Van Arendonk, Heidi Chen, Hannah L. Dietrich, Katherine D. Watson, Melissa A. Hilmes, Dai H. Chung, Harold N. Lovvorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: The current neuroblastoma (NBL)staging system employs image-defined risk factors (IDRFs)to assess numerous anatomic features, but the impact of IDRFs on surgical and oncologic outcomes is unclear. Methods: The Vanderbilt Cancer Registry identified children treated for NBL from 2002 to 2017. Tumor volume (TV)and IDRFs were measured radiographically at diagnosis and before resection. Perioperative and oncologic outcomes were evaluated. Results: At diagnosis of 106 NBL, 61% were IDRF positive. MYCN-amplified and undifferentiated NBL had more IDRFs than nonamplified and more differentiated tumors (p = 0.001 and p = 0.01). Of 86 NBLs resected, 43% were IDRF positive, which associated with higher stage, risk, and TV (each p < 0.001). The presence of IDRF at resection was also associated with increased blood loss (p < 0.001), longer operating times (p < 0.001), greater incidence of intraoperative complications (p = 0.03), more frequent ICU admissions postoperatively (p < 0.001), and longer hospital stays (p < 0.001). IDRF negative and positive tumors did not have significantly different rates of gross total resection (p = 0.2). Five-year relapse-free and overall survival was similar for IDRF negative and positive NBL (p = 0.9 and p = 0.8). Conclusions: IDRFs at diagnosis were associated with larger, less differentiated, advanced stage, and higher risk NBL and at resection with increased operative difficulty and perioperative morbidity. However, the frequency of gross total resection and patient survival after resection were not associated with the presence of IDRFs. Type of study: Retrospective cohort study. Level of evidence: Level III.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1184-1191
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Image-defined risk factors
  • International neuroblastoma risk group
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Tumor volume

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery


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