Between-hospital variation in time to glioblastoma surgery: a report from the Quality Registry Neuro Surgery in the Netherlands

M.E. De Swart, D.M.J. Muller, H. Ardon, R.K. Balvers, L. Bosscher, W. Bouwknegt, W.A. van den Brink, K. Hovinga, A. Kloet, J. Koopmans, M.T. Laan, R. Nabuurs, R.N. Tewarie, P.A. Robe, O. van den Veer, I. Viozzi, M. Wagemakers, A.H. Zwinderman, P.C.D. Hamer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVE Patients with glioblastoma are often scheduled for urgent elective surgery. Currently, the impact of the waiting period until glioblastoma surgery is undetermined. In this national quality registry study, the authors determined the wait times until surgery for patients with glioblastoma, the risk factors associated with wait times, and the risk-standardized variation in time to surgery between Dutch hospitals. The associations between time to surgery and patient outcomes were also explored. METHODS Data from all 4589 patients who underwent first-time glioblastoma surgery between 2014 and 2019 in the Netherlands were collected by 13 hospitals in the Quality Registry Neuro Surgery. Time to surgery comprised 1) the time from first MR scan to surgery (MTS), and 2) the time from first neurosurgical consultation to surgery (CTS). Long MTS was defined as more than 21 days and long CTS as more than 14 days. Potential risk factors were analyzed in multivariable logistic regression models. The standardized rate of long time to surgery was analyzed using funnel plots. Patient outcomes including Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) score change, complications, and survival were analyzed by multivariable logistic regression and proportional hazards models. RESULTS The median overall MTS and CTS were 18 and 9 days, respectively. Overall, 2576 patients (56%) had an MTS within 3 weeks and 3069 (67%) had a CTS within 2 weeks. Long MTS was significantly associated with older age, higher preoperative KPS score, higher American Society of Anesthesiologists comorbidity class, season, lower hospital case volume, university affiliation, and resection. Long CTS was significantly associated with higher baseline KPS score, university affiliation, resection, more recent year of treatment, and season. In funnel plots, considerable practice variation was observed between hospitals in patients with long times to surgery. Fewer patients with KPS score improvement were observed after a long time until resection. Long CTS was associated with longer survival. Complications and KPS score decline were not associated with time to surgery. CONCLUSIONS Considerable between-hospital variation among Dutch hospitals was observed in the time to glioblastoma surgery. A long time to resection impeded KPS score improvement, and therefore, patients who may improve should be identified for more urgent resection. Longer survival was observed in patients selected for longer time until surgery after neurosurgical consultation (CTS).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1358-1367
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery
Issue number5
Early online date11 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022


  • waiting time
  • diagnostic delay
  • referral
  • glioblastoma
  • oncology
  • CARE


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