Correlation between tumor measurement on Computed Tomography and resected specimen size in lung adenocarcinomas

Lung Cancer. 2012 Mar;75(3):332-5. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2011.08.001. Epub 2011 Sep 3.


Objective: To compare preoperative size of stage I and stage II lung adenocarcinoma as measured by Computed Tomography (CT) and as assessed on gross pathology specimens.

Materials and methods: 47 patients diagnosed with stage I or II lung adenocarcinoma were evaluated. Institutional Review Board permission was obtained. Tumor contours were delineated using a semi-automated segmentation algorithm and adjusted based on a radiologist's input. Based on the tumor perimeter, maximal in-plane tumor diameter was calculated automatically. The largest single diameter from the pathology gross report was utilized. A paired t-test was used to examine the measurement difference between CT and pathology.

Results: The mean largest diameter of the tumors at CT and pathology was 29.53 mm and 24.04 mm, respectively. There was a statistically significant difference between the mean CT measurement and mean pathology measurement of 5.49 mm (standard deviation 9.08 mm, p<0.001). The percent relative difference between the two measurements was 18.3% (standard deviation 28.2%).

Conclusion: There is a statistically significant difference between the tumor diameter as measured by CT and on pathology gross specimen. These differences could have implications in the treatment and prognosis of patients with early stage lung adenocarcinoma.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Adenocarcinoma / surgery
  • Adenocarcinoma of Lung
  • Algorithms
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*