Solitary pulmonary nodule: New face on an old problem

David E. Midthun, Stephen J. Swensen, James R. Jett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Advances in radiologic techniques are improving the detection and evaluation of the solitary pulmonary nodule. While past chest films are valuable for identifying nodule growth, thin-section CT provides better assessment of calcification and can detect nodules not seen on chest films. Calcification in a central, laminated, or diffuse pattern indicates the nodule is benign. Risk factors for malignancy include nodule size greater than 2 cm; radiologic evidence of growth; and a history of smoking, airway obstruction, or malignancy. If the nodule is uncalcified and is 3 mm or smaller, repeat thin-section CT at 6 months; if it is 4 to 7 mm, repeat CT in 3 months. For nodules of 8 to 30 mm, consider contrast enhancement with CT, MRI, or positron emission tomography. If the nodule shows enhancement, biopsy or removal may be indicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-276
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Respiratory Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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