Characterization of solitary pulmonary nodules: Use of washout characteristics at contrast-enhanced computed tomography.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether computed tomographic scans and attenuation measurements on contrast material-enhanced and non-enhanced computed tomographic scans could be used to characterize solitary pulmonary nodules and, in particular, to characterize these lesions using washout characteristics on contrast-enhanced computed tomography. A total of 63 patients (38 males, 25 females; age range, 21-80 years; mean age, 58±13.2 years) with pulmonary nodules revealed on contrast-enhanced computed tomography underwent 20-min delayed enhanced scans. The mean diameter of the pulmonary nodules was 1.8±0.6 cm (range, 0.8-2.9). Region-of-interest measurements were obtained at non-enhanced, dynamic enhanced and delayed enhanced computed tomography and were used to calculate a relative percentage washout as follows: 1 - (Hounsfield unit measurement on delayed image/Hounsfield unit measurement on dynamic image) × 100%. There was a mean relative washout of 33% on the delayed computed tomographic scans (range, 12-46) in benign solitary pulmonary nodules; and a mean relative washout of 7% (range, -36-51) in malignant solitary pulmonary nodules (Mann-Whitney U test, p<0.001). Results of the receiver operating curve analysis revealed that a threshold relative washout of 14.5% had 74.3% sensitivity and 92.9% specificity for identifying malignant nodules. Calculation of the relative percentage washout on dynamic and delayed enhanced computed tomographic scans may lead to a highly specific test for solitary pulmonary nodule characterization and reduce the need for, and possibly obviate, follow-up imaging or biopsy.
Department of Radiology, Shanghai Chest Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai 200030.
SourceOncology letters 3:3 2012 Mar pg 672-676
Pub Type(s)JOURNAL ARTICLE