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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2002 Feb 15;165(4):508-13.

Screening for lung cancer with low-dose spiral computed tomography.

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Department of Radiology, the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.


Studies suggest that screening with spiral computed tomography can detect lung cancers at a smaller size and earlier stage than chest radiography can. To evaluate low-radiation-dose spiral computed tomography and sputum cytology in screening for lung cancer, we enrolled 1,520 individuals aged 50 yr or older who had smoked 20 pack-years or more in a prospective cohort study. One year after baseline scanning, 2,244 uncalcified lung nodules were identified in 1,000 participants (66%). Twenty-five cases of lung cancer were diagnosed (22 prevalence, 3 incidence). Computed tomography alone detected 23 cases; sputum cytology alone detected 2 cases. Cell types were: squamous cell, 6; adenocarcinoma or bronchioalveolar, 15; large cell, 1; small cell, 3. Twenty-two patients underwent curative surgical resection. Seven benign nodules were resected. The mean size of the non-small cell cancers detected by computed tomography was 17 mm (median, 13 mm). The postsurgical stage was IA, 13; IB, 1; IIA, 5; IIB, 1; IIIA, 2; limited, 3. Twelve (57%) of the 21 non-small cell cancers detected by computed tomography were stage IA at diagnosis. Computed tomography can detect early-stage lung cancers. The rate of benign nodule detection is high.

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