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Radiol Med. 2005 Jan-Feb;109(1-2):17-26.

Screening of lung cancer with low dose spiral CT: results of a three year pilot study and design of the randomised controlled trial ''Italung-CT''.

[Article in English, Italian]

Author information

  • 1Radiodiagnostica I, Dipartimento di Fisiopatologia Clinica, Universit√† degli Studi di Firenze, Italy.



To report the results of a three-year observational pilot study of lung cancer screening with low dose computed tomography (CT) and to present the study design of a randomised clinical trial named as ''Italung-CT''.


Sixty (47 males and 13 females, mean age 64+/-4.5 years) heavy smokers (at least 20 packs-year) underwent three low-dose spiral CT screening tests one year apart on a single slice or multislice CT scanner. Indeterminate nodules were managed according to the recommendations of the Early Lung Cancer Action Project.


and Indeterminate nodules were observed in 33 (55%) of the subjects (60% at the baseline screening test, 24% at the first annual test and 16% at the second annual test). The size of the largest indeterminate nodule was <5 mm in diameter in 20 subjects, 10 of whom showed the nodule at the baseline test. Forty-five subjects (75%) completed the first annual test and 42 (70%) the second annual test. One (1.6%) prevalent lung cancer (adenosquamous carcinoma) and one (2.2%) incident lung cancer (small cell cancer at the first annual examination) were observed, as well as a pulmonary localisation of Hodgkin's lymphoma (at the second annual test). In addition, one subject underwent lung surgery for a chondromatous hamartoma.


The results of the pilot study are substantially in line with those of other observational studies of greater sample size. This justifies optimism about the reliability of the results in the screened arm of the ''Italung CT'' trial which has just begun.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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