Diagnostic accuracy of CT-guided automated needle biopsy of lung nodules

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2000 Jul;175(1):239-43. doi: 10.2214/ajr.175.1.1750239.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the factors influencing diagnostic accuracy in CT-guided automated needle biopsies of lung nodules.

Subjects and methods: One hundred thirty-eight consecutive CT-guided automated needle biopsy procedures were performed in 123 patients (124 pulmonary nodules). Factors for diagnostic accuracy were evaluated through analysis of the procedures, which were classified into a success group (true-positive and true-negative) and a failure group (false-positive and false-negative).

Results: Final diagnoses were 81 malignant lesions (91 biopsies) and 43 benign lesions (47 biopsies). More than two CT-guided biopsies were performed for 13 lesions. Seventy lesions were true-positive, 44 were true-negative, three were false-positive, and 21 were false-negative. The overall diagnostic accuracy was 82.6%. The sensitivity for malignancy and specificity for benign lesions were 76.9% and 93.6%, respectively. Positive and negative predictive values were 95.9% and 67.7%, respectively. Lesion size was a significant factor contributing to diagnostic accuracy (p = 0.014). Mean diameters of lesions (+/-SD) in the success and failure groups were 24.1+/-12.4 mm and 17.6+/-7.8 mm, respectively. For lesions 6-10 mm in diameter, diagnostic accuracy was 66.7%; for lesions 11-20 mm in diameter, 78.9%; for lesions 21-30 mm in diameter, 86.7%; for lesions 31-50 mm in diameter, 93.3%; and for lesions 51-70 mm in diameter, 100%.

Conclusion: Lesion size was a determining factor in diagnostic accuracy. Diagnostic accuracy decreased in proportion to the decrease in the lesion diameter.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Automation
  • Biopsy, Needle / methods*
  • False Negative Reactions
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Diseases / pathology*
  • Lung Diseases / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*