Roles of computed tomography and [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography/computed tomography in the characterization of multiple solitary solid lung nodules
PURPOSE To retrospectively determine whether baseline nodule characteristics at 3-month and 1-year volume doubling time (VDT) are predictive for lung cancer in solid indeterminate noncalcified nodules (NCNs) detected at baseline computed tomographic (CT) screening. MATERIALS AND METHODS The study, conducted between April 2004 and May 2006, was institutional review board approved. Patient consent was waived for this retrospective evaluation. NCNs between 5 and 10 mm in diameter (n = 891) were evaluated at 3 months and 1 year to assess growth (VDT < 400 days). Baseline assessments were related to growth at 3 months and 1 year by using chi(2) and Mann-Whitney U tests. Baseline assessments and growth were related to the presence of malignancy by using univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses. RESULTS At 3 months and at 1 year, 8% and 1% of NCNs had grown, of which 15% and 50% were malignant, respectively. One-year growth was related to morphology (P < .01), margin (P < .0001), location (P < .001), and size (P < .01). All cancers were nonspherical and purely intraparenchymal, without attachment to vessels, the pleura, or fissures. In nonsmooth unattached nodules, a volume of 130 mm(3) or larger was the only predictor for malignancy (odds ratio, 6.3; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.7, 23.0). After the addition of information on the 3-month VDT, large volume (odds ratio, 4.9; 95% CI: 1.2, 20.1) and 3-month VDT (odds ratio, 15.6; 95% CI: 4.5, 53.5) helped predict malignancy. At 1 year, only the 1-year growth remained (odds ratio, 213.3; 95% CI: 18.7, 2430.9) as predictor for malignancy. CONCLUSION In smooth or attached solid indeterminate NCNs, no malignancies were found at 1-year follow-up. In nonsmooth purely intraparenchymal NCNs, size is the main baseline predictor for malignancy. When follow-up data are available, growth is a strong predictor for malignancy, especially at 1-year follow-up.