CT screening for lung cancer: Significance of diagnoses in its baseline cycle

Claudia I. Henschke*, Dorith Shaham, David F. Yankelevitz, Arin Kramer, William J. Kostis, Anthony P. Reeves, Madeline Vazquez, June Koizumi, Olli S. Miettinen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Purpose: The aim of this study was to assess the significance of Stage I diagnoses of lung cancer in the baseline cycle of screening for this disease, with special reference to the potential for overdiagnosis. Methods: We reviewed all 69 cases of Stage I lung cancer diagnosis resulting from our baseline CT screening. Among these 69 cases of lung cancer, 24 presented as solid, 30 as part-solid, and 15 as nonsolid nodules. The extent to which these represented genuine malignancy was assessed by a panel of experts on lung pathology, and the "aggressiveness" of these cases was addressed by the criterion of the tumor's volume doubling time being less than 400 days. Results: The expert panel confirmed all 69 cases as representing genuine malignancy. Among the 69 cases without evidence of metastases, the proportion that satisfied the aggressiveness criterion was 60/69=87%. The corresponding proportions by presentation as solid, part-solid, and nonsolid nodule were 23/24 (96%), 27/30 (90%), and 10/15 (67%), respectively. Conclusions: In baseline CT screening for lung cancer, overdiagnosis of the disease is uncommon, with cases presenting as a nonsolid nodule a possible exception to this.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)11-15
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Imaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Lung cancer
  • Overdiagnosis
  • Screening
  • Tumor doubling


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