Ground-glass nodules on chest CT as imaging biomarkers in the management of lung adenocarcinoma

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2011 Mar;196(3):533-43. doi: 10.2214/AJR.10.5813.


Objective: The purpose of this article is to review the clinical significance of ground-glass nodules (GGNs) in the management of lung adenocarcinoma.

Conclusion: GGNs can serve as imaging biomarkers that represent the bronchioloalveolar carcinoma component in adenocarcinoma on histology and indicate a better prognosis in patients with lung adenocarcinoma. The evolution of GGNs reflects the multistep progression of adenocarcinoma. Despite the high probability of malignancy of GGNs, the possibility of overdiagnosis should be considered in the management of GGNs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Biopsy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Prognosis
  • Radiography, Thoracic / methods
  • Solitary Pulmonary Nodule / diagnostic imaging*
  • Solitary Pulmonary Nodule / pathology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*