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Semin Respir Crit Care Med. 2008 Jun;29(3):241-7. doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1076744.

Evaluation of patients with small, subcentimeter nodules.

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Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, CA, USA.


The prevalence of subcentimeter pulmonary nodules is on the rise due to widespread use of multidetector row computed tomography. These lesions have created a new set of challenges for patients and their physicians. Such nodules are poorly characterized by imaging tests and are difficult to biopsy. Fortunately, the available data suggest that the vast majority of such nodules are benign in etiology. However, this increases the challenge to provide a cost-effective evaluation that minimizes unnecessary radiation exposure and complications from invasive biopsies while promptly identifying malignancy when it is present. In this review, we summarize the current available literature regarding subcentimeter nodules, as well as the current recommendations regarding their investigation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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