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J Comp Eff Res. 2013 Sep;2(5):433-6. doi: 10.2217/cer.13.57.

Low-dose computed tomography screening for lung cancer: results of the first screening round.

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  • 1Department of Public Health, Erasmus University Medical Center, PO Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


Evaluation of: National Lung Screening Trial Research Team, Church TR, Black WC, Aberle DR et al. Results of initial low-dose computed tomographic screening for lung cancer. N. Engl. J. Med. 368, 1980-1991 (2013). In 2011, the US NLST trial demonstrated that mortality from lung cancer can be reduced by using low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening rather than chest x-ray (CXR) screening. This paper from the US NLST research team focuses on the results of the initial round of LDCT for lung cancer. A total of 53,439 participants were included and randomly assigned to LDCT screening (n = 26,715) or CXR screening (n = 26,724). In total, 27.3% of the participants in the LDCT group and 9.2% in the CXR group had a positive screening result. As a result, 3.8% (LDCT group) and 5.7% (CXR group) of these subjects were diagnosed with lung cancer. The sensitivity (93.8%) and specificity (73.4%) for lung cancer were higher for LDCT compared with CXR screening; 73.5 and 91.3%, respectively.

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