In December 2003, the Dutch-Belgian NELSON trial, a Dutch acronym for "Nederlands-Leuvens Longkanker Screenings ONderzoek", has been launched. Primary objective of the NELSON trial is to investigate whether screening for lung cancer by 16-detector multi-slice CT with 16 mm x 0.75 mm collimation and 15 mm table feed per rotation (pitch=1.5) in year 1, 2 and 4 will lead to a decrease in lung cancer mortality in high risk subjects of at least 25% compared to a control group which receives no screening. In this paper, the screening regimen and the classification and management of the screen-detected nodules at baseline and incidence screening is presented. This is the first large lung cancer screening trial in which the nodule management protocol is based on volumetric nodule assessment and the presence or absence of growth. Furthermore, the quality assurance measures and the NELSON management system (NMS) are presented.