Management of Incidental Lung Nodules: Current Strategy and Rationale
Incidentally detected lung nodules are increasingly common in routine diagnostic computed tomography (CT) imaging. Formal management recommendations for incidental nodules, such as those outlined by the Fleischner Society, must therefore reflect a balance of malignancy risk and the clinical context in which nodules are discovered. Nodule size, attenuation, morphology, and location all influence the likelihood of malignancy and, thus, the necessity and timing of follow-up according to current Fleischner recommendations. As technological advancements in CT imaging continue, there may be greater reliance on advanced computerized analysis of lung nodule features to help determine the risk of clinically significant disease.
Lepidic Predominant Pulmonary Lesions (LPL): CT-based Distinction From More Invasive Adenocarcinomas Using 3D Volumetric Density and First-order CT Texture Analysis
RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to differentiate pathologically defined lepidic predominant lesions (LPL) from more invasive adenocarcinomas (INV) using three-dimensional (3D) volumetric density and first-order texture histogram analysis of surgically excised stage 1 lung adenocarcinomas. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This retrospective study was institutional review board approved and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliant. Sixty-four cases of pathologically proven stage 1 lung adenocarcinoma surgically resected between September 2006 and October 2015, including LPL (n = 43) and INV (n = 21), were evaluated using high-resolution computed tomography. Quantitative measurements included nodule volume, percent solid volume (% solid), and first-order texture histogram analysis including skewness, kurtosis, entropy, and mean nodule attenuation within each histogram quartile. Binomial logistic regression models were used to identify the best set of parameters distinguishing LPL from INV. RESULTS: Univariate analysis of 3D volumetric density and histogram features was statistically significant between LPL and INV groups (P < .05). Accuracy of a binomial logistic model to discriminate LPL from INV based on size and % solid was 85.9%. With optimized probability cutoff, the model achieves 81% sensitivity, 76.7% specificity, and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.897 (95% confidence interval, 0.821-0.973). An additional model based on size and mean nodule attenuation of the third quartile (Hu_Q3) of the histogram achieved similar accuracy of 81.3% and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.877 (95% confidence interval, 0.790-0.964). CONCLUSIONS: Both 3D volumetric density and first-order texture analysis of stage 1 lung adenocarcinoma allow differentiation of LPL from more invasive adenocarcinoma with overall accuracy of 85.9%-81.3%, based on multivariate analyses of either size and % solid or size and Hu_Q3, respectively.
Low dose computed tomography pulmonary angiography protocol for imaging pregnant patients: Can dose reduction be achieved without reducing image quality?
OBJECTIVE: To assess the effect of low dose computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA) on radiation dose in pregnant patients. MATERIALS AND METHODS: An old CTPA protocol for pregnant patients was compared to a new protocol. Protocol changes included: decreased kVp; increased contrast injection rate; imaging after shallow inspiration. Patients undergoing CTPA before (phase 1 group) or after (phase 2 group) the protocol change, were assessed. RESULTS: Effective dose was lower in the phase 2 group (0.95 v 1.66 mSv; p<0.001). Quantitative noise was lower in the phase 1 group (p<0.001). CONCLUSION: Low dose CTPA tailored for pregnancy reduces dose in pregnant patients.
CT pulmonary angiography of adult pulmonary vascular diseases: Technical considerations and interpretive pitfalls
Computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA) has become the primary imaging modality for evaluating the pulmonary arteries. Although pulmonary embolism is the primary indication for CTPA, various pulmonary vascular abnormalities can be detected in adults. Knowledge of these disease entities and understanding technical pitfalls that can occur when performing CTPA are essential to enable accurate diagnosis and allow timely management. This review will cover a spectrum of acquired abnormalities including pulmonary embolism due to thrombus and foreign bodies, primary and metastatic tumor involving the pulmonary arteries, pulmonary hypertension, as well as pulmonary artery aneurysms and stenoses. Additionally, methods to overcome technical pitfalls and interventional treatment options will be addressed.
Intracardiac Embolized Prostate Brachytherapy Seeds: Imaging Features in Patients Undergoing Electrocardiogram-Gated Cardiac Computed Tomography
OBJECTIVE: This study aims to provide the first description of the computed tomographic (CT) appearances of intracardiac embolized brachytherapy seeds in patients undergoing electrocardiogram (ECG)-gated cardiac CT. METHODS: The institutional Picture Archive and Communication System was searched for male patients who underwent enhanced ECG-gated cardiac CT, and reports were searched for the key words "metallic," "prostate," "brachytherapy," "radiation," "embolized," and "radioactive." Each study was identified and examined for an intracardiac metallic object conforming to the size of a prostate seed. RESULTS: Between January 01, 2005, and June 30, 2014, a total of 3206 male patients underwent ECG-gated cardiac CT. Five patients (0.15%) had a history of prostate cancer and an intracardiac metallic object with CT imaging characteristics consistent with an embolized prostate seed. In all 5 patients, the seeds were embedded in the trabeculations of the inferior aspect of the basal right ventricular free wall. CONCLUSIONS: Intracardiac embolized brachytherapy seeds appear as small objects with surrounding metallic artifact characteristically embedded in the inferior aspect of the basal right ventricular free wall.
A 29-Year-Old Man With Nonproductive Cough, Exertional Dyspnea, and Chest Discomfort
A 29-year-old man presented with a 5-month history of worsening dry cough, exertional dyspnea, chest tightness, and palpitations. He had been treated by his primary care physician with trials of guaifenesin/codeine, azithromycin, albuterol, and omeprazole without improvement. He denied wheezing, fever, sweats, anorexia, joint pain, swelling, or rash. He had no past medical history. He denied a history of tobacco smoking or IV drug use. He kept no pets, worked as a manager in an office environment, and had no history of occupational inhalational exposure. He reported using aerosolized insect spray to eradicate bed bugs in his house shortly before the cough began but did not report any acute symptoms when using the spray.
Imaging the Solitary Pulmonary Nodule
The development of widespread lung cancer screening programs has the potential to dramatically increase the number of thoracic computed tomography (CT) examinations performed annually in the United States, resulting in a greater number of newly detected, indeterminate solitary pulmonary nodules (SPNs). Additional imaging studies, such as fluorodeoxyglucose F 18 (FDG)-positron emission tomography (PET), have been shown to provide valuable information in the assessment of indeterminate SPNs. Newer technologies, such as contrast-enhanced dual-energy chest CT and FDG-PET/CT, also have the potential to facilitate diagnosis of potentially malignant SPNs.
Imaging the post-thoracotomy patient: anatomic changes and postoperative complications
Thoracotomy with lung resection produces postoperative changes that can be challenging for the radiologist. Complications related to anatomic and physiologic changes, infection, and breakdown of surgical anastomoses can significantly increase morbidity and mortality. Prompt and accurate diagnosis of serious postoperative complications is essential.
Impact of a Computer-Aided Detection (CAD) System Integrated into a Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) on Reader Sensitivity and Efficiency for the Detection of Lung Nodules in Thoracic CT Exams
The objective of this study is to assess the impact on nodule detection and efficiency using a computer-aided detection (CAD) device seamlessly integrated into a commercially available picture archiving and communication system (PACS). Forty-eight consecutive low-dose thoracic computed tomography studies were retrospectively included from an ongoing multi-institutional screening study. CAD results were sent to PACS as a separate image series for each study. Five fellowship-trained thoracic radiologists interpreted each case first on contiguous 5 mm sections, then evaluated the CAD output series (with CAD marks on corresponding axial sections). The standard of reference was based on three-reader agreement with expert adjudication. The time to interpret CAD marking was automatically recorded. A total of 134 true-positive nodules, measuring 3 mm and larger were included in our study; with 85 >/= 4 and 50 >/= 5 mm in size. Readers detection improved significantly in each size category when using CAD, respectively, from 44 to 57 % for >/=3 mm, 48 to 61 % for >/=4 mm, and 44 to 60 % for >/=5 mm. CAD stand-alone sensitivity was 65, 68, and 66 % for nodules >/=3, >/=4, and >/=5 mm, respectively, with CAD significantly increasing the false positives for two readers only. The average time to interpret and annotate a CAD mark was 15.1 s, after localizing it in the original image series. The integration of CAD into PACS increases reader sensitivity with minimal impact on interpretation time and supports such implementation into daily clinical practice.
Clinical Significance of Lung Nodules Reported on Abdominal CT
OBJECTIVE: The objective of our study was to identify the significance of lung nodules reported on abdominal CT. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Abdominal CT reports from a 1-year period were reviewed for the terms "nodule," "nodular," or "mass" in reference to the lung bases. Patients with prior chest or abdominal CT examinations were excluded; the study population included patients with an initial abdominal CT study and at least one follow-up chest or abdominal CT examination. Two thoracic radiologists characterized nodules in consensus. Radiology and clinical records were reviewed for nodule growth and clinical diagnoses. RESULTS: The term "nodule," "nodular," or "mass" in reference to the lung bases was reported in 364 of 12,287 abdominal CT studies (3%). Of 125 patients with no prior CT examination, 42 had undergone follow-up chest CT, abdominal CT, or both. Common imaging indications included abdominal pain (13/42, 31%) and preexisting malignancy (n = 7, 16.7%). Regardless of the indication for imaging, 16 (38.1%) had malignancy that was known (n = 13) or newly diagnosed (n = 3) on the initial abdominal CT. Three of 42 patients (7.1%) had malignant nodules representing metastatic disease: Nodule growth was seen in one patient with preexisting colon cancer, one patient with newly diagnosed metastatic pancreatic cancer, and a third with known bladder cancer. The latter patient had suspected lung metastases that were confirmed on chest CT 1 day later. Three of the 16 patients (18.8%) with preexisting or newly diagnosed cancer had malignant nodules. No malignant nodules were identified without such history. Six patients (14.3%) had an infection. CONCLUSION: Lung nodules incidentally detected on abdominal CT were rarely malignant and were seen only in the setting of an underlying abdominal malignancy. Knowledge of such history is of critical importance to both the clinician and the radiologist. Dedicated chest CT is most useful when assessing pulmonary nodules in patients with localized malignancy.