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Radiology. 1991 May;179(2):469-76.

Solitary pulmonary nodule: high-resolution CT and radiologic-pathologic correlation.

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1
Department of Radiology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Abstract

Edge and internal characteristics of pulmonary nodules evaluated with high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) were correlated with the pathologic specimens in 93 patients. Speculation correlated pathologically with irregular fibrosis, localized lymphatic spread of tumor, or an infiltrative tumor growth pattern and was observed in six of 11 benign nodules (55%) and 74 of 85 malignant nodules (87%). Pleural tags were observed in three benign nodules (27%) and 49 malignant lesions (58%); pathologically, these represented fibrotic bands usually associated with juxta-cicatricial pleural retraction. Bubblelike areas of low attenuation within the nodule were observed in 21 malignant lesions (25%) and only one benign nodule (9%). They were observed most commonly in bronchioloalveolar carcinomas (seven of 14) and were due either to patent small bronchi or small, cystic spaces within neoplastic glands. Malignant nodules as a group were larger than benign lesions (P = .02) and more commonly demonstrated a spiculated contour (P less than .05), lobulation (P less than .001), and inhomogeneous attenuation (P less than .05).

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