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Clinical, pathological, and radiological characteristics of solitary ground-glass opacity lung nodules on high-resolution computed tomography

Authors Qiu Z, Cheng Y, Liu D, Wang W, Wu X, Wu W, Li W

Received 12 April 2016

Accepted for publication 21 July 2016

Published 20 September 2016 Volume 2016:12 Pages 1445—1453


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Deyun Wang

Zhi-Xin Qiu,1 Yue Cheng,1 Dan Liu,1 Wei-Ya Wang,2 Xia Wu,2 Wei-Lu Wu,2 Wei-Min Li1,2

1Department of Respiratory Medicine, 2Department of Pathology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, People’s Republic of China

Background: Lung nodules are being detected at an increasing rate year by year with high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) being widely used. Ground-glass opacity nodule is one of the special types of pulmonary nodules that is confirmed to be closely associated with early stage of lung cancer. Very little is known about solitary ground-glass opacity nodules (SGGNs). In this study, we analyzed the clinical, pathological, and radiological characteristics of SGGNs on HRCT.
Methods: A total of 95 resected SGGNs were evaluated with HRCT scan. The clinical, pathological, and radiological characteristics of these cases were analyzed.
Results: Eighty-one adenocarcinoma and 14 benign nodules were observed. The nodules included 12 (15%) adenocarcinoma in situ (AIS), 14 (17%) minimally invasive adenocarcinoma (MIA), and 55 (68%) invasive adenocarcinoma (IA). No patients with recurrence till date have been identified. The positive expression rates of anaplastic lymphoma kinase and ROS-1 (proto-oncogene tyrosine-protein kinase ROS) were only 2.5% and 8.6%, respectively. The specificity and accuracy of HRCT of invasive lung adenocarcinoma were 85.2% and 87.4%. The standard uptake values of only two patients determined by 18F-FDG positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) were above 2.5. The size, density, shape, and pleural tag of nodules were significant factors that differentiated IA from AIS and MIA. Moreover, the size, shape, margin, pleural tag, vascular cluster, bubble-like sign, and air bronchogram of nodules were significant determinants for mixed ground-glass opacity nodules (all P<0.05).
Conclusion: We analyzed the clinical, pathological, and radiological characteristics of SGGNs on HRCT and found that the size, density, shape, and pleural tag of SGGNs on HRCT are found to be the determinant factors of IA. In conclusion, detection of anaplastic lymphoma kinase expression and performance of PET/CT scan are not routinely recommended.

SGGNs, HRCT, adenocarcinoma, clinical, pathological

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