Clinical Significance of Lung-RADS Category 3 Lesions in the National Lung Screening Trial.
INTRODUCTION: To determine the clinical significance of category 3 (CAT3) abnormalities and the necessity of a 6-month follow-up computed tomography (CT). We also explored features associated with increased lung cancer risk. METHODS: From the National Lung Screening Trial database, we identified participants with CAT3 lesions at prevalence screen. Rates of lung cancer and lung cancer-specific deaths (LSDs) were compared between those who underwent first follow-up CT before 6 months (early diagnostic group) and those who underwent annual screening (annual diagnostic group). We estimated the change in LSD if the 6-month CT was eliminated. Regression analysis was performed to identify features associated with participants with CAT3 who developed lung cancer. RESULTS: A total of 1763 CAT3s were identified (6.6% of all participants who had low-dose CT), with 108 lung cancers (6.1%) and 41 LSDs (2.3%) in a 7-year period. Rates of lung cancer (7.5% versus 3.1%) and LSD (4.0% versus 1.0%) were higher in the early diagnostic group than in the annual diagnostic group. We estimated an increase in LSD of 0.6% of all participants with CAT3 (24.4% of all LSDs) if the 6-month CT was not performed. Multivariate regression analysis found that increased age, emphysema, and a part-solid nodule greater than 5 mm were associated with participants with CAT3 who developed lung cancer. CONCLUSIONS: CAT3 lesions are uncommon, and eliminating the 6-month CT would potentially increase LSD by 0.6% of all patients with CAT3. Age, emphysema, and part-solid nodule greater than 5 mm may be useful in risk prediction models to determine which participants with CAT3 are more likely to develop lung cancer and suggest which patients may need more intense follow-up.
Han, DH; Duan, F; Wu, Y; Goo, JM; Kim, HY; Patz, EF
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