Purpose: To evaluate the prognostic importance of thin-section computed tomographic (CT) findings of peripheral lung adenocarcinomas.
Materials and methods: The subjects were 127 patients with adenocarcinomas smaller than 3 cm in largest diameter who underwent at least a lobectomy with hilar and mediastinal lymphadenectomy. The margin characteristics of nodules and the extent of ground-glass opacity (GGO) within the nodules at preoperative thin-section CT were analyzed retrospectively. Regional lymph node metastasis (LNM) and vessel invasion (VI) were histologically examined in surgical specimens. Survival curves were calculated according to the Kaplan-Meier method.
Results: The frequencies of LNM (4% [1 of 24]) and VI (13% [three of 24]) in adenocarcinomas with GGO components of more than 50% were significantly lower than those with GGO components of less than 10% (LNM, P <.05; VI, P <.01). The patients with GGO components of more than 50% showed a significantly better prognosis than those with GGO components less than 50% (P <.05). All 17 adenocarcinomas smaller than 2 cm with GGO components of more than 50% were free of LNM and VI, and all these patients are alive without recurrence. Coarse spiculation and thickening of bronchovascular bundles around the tumors were observed more frequently in tumors with LNM or VI than in those without LNM or VI (P <.01).
Conclusion: Thin-section CT findings of peripheral lung adenocarcinomas correlate well with histologic prognostic factors.