Original Study| Volume 24, ISSUE 2, P98-106, March 2023

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Prospective Radiologic-Pathologic Correlation of Macroscopic Volume and Microscopic Extension of Nonsolid Lung Nodules on Thin-section CT Images for Sublobar Resection and Stereotactic Radiotherapy Planning

Published:November 08, 2022DOI:


      • Segmentectomy and SBRT are increasingly used for the treatment of nonsolid nodules.
      • It is often difficult to correctly assess the limits and the size of nonsolid nodules.
      • CT did not underestimate the macroscopic size and microscopic extension of the NSN.



      The objective of this study was to determine whether computed tomography (CT) could be a useful tool for nonsolid lung nodule (NSN) treatment planning, surgery or stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), by assessing the macroscopic and microscopic extension of these nodules.


      The study prospectively included 23 patients undergoing anatomic resection at the Foch Hospital in 2020/2021 for NSN with a ground-glass component of more than 50%. Firstly, for each patient, both the macroscopic dimensions of the NSN were assessed on CT and during pathologic analysis. Secondly, the microscopic extension was assessed during pathologic examination. Wilcoxon sign rank tests were used to compare these dimensions. Spearman correlation test and Bland-Altman analysis were used to evaluate the agreement between radiological and pathologic measurements.


      On CT, the median largest diameter and volume of NSN were 21 mm and 3780 cc, while on pathologic analysis, they were 15 mm and 1800 cc, respectively. Therefore, the largest diameter and volume of the NSN were significantly higher on CT than on pathological analysis. For microscopic extension, the median largest diameter and volume of NSN were 17 mm and 2040 cc, respectively. No significant difference was observed between the macroscopic size and the microscopic extension assessed during pathologic analysis. Moreover, correlation analysis and Bland-Altman plots showed that radiological and pathologic measurements could provide equivalent precision.


      Our study showed that CT did not underestimate the macroscopic size and microscopic extension of NSN and confirmed that CT can be used for NSN treatment planning.


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