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Expert Rev Respir Med. 2008 Dec;2(6):767-77. doi: 10.1586/17476348.2.6.767.

Diagnosis and management of solitary pulmonary nodules.

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Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Pusan National University Hospital, Pusan National University School of Medicine and Medical Research Institute, Pusan 602-739, Korea.


The advent of computed tomography (CT) screening with or without the help of computer-aided detection systems has increased the detection rate of solitary pulmonary nodules (SPNs), including that of early peripheral lung cancer. Helical dynamic (HD)CT, providing the information on morphologic and hemodynamic characteristics with high specificity and reasonably high accuracy, can be used for the initial assessment of SPNs. (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose PET/CT is more sensitive at detecting malignancy than HDCT. Therefore, PET/CT may be selectively performed to characterize SPNs when HDCT gives an inconclusive diagnosis. Serial volume measurements are currently the most reliable methods for the tissue characterization of subcentimeter nodules. When malignant nodule is highly suspected for subcentimeter nodules, video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery nodule removal after nodule localization using the pulmonary nodule-marker system may be performed for diagnosis and treatment.


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