Effective use of low-dose computed tomography lung cancer screening

Curr Probl Diagn Radiol. 2013 Sep-Oct;42(5):220-30. doi: 10.1067/j.cpradiol.2013.05.001.


Lung cancer screening programs for high-risk populations using low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) have been shown by a class I clinical trial to reduce lung cancer mortality by 20%. We present an overview of randomized and nonrandomized lung cancer screening trials and review some of the arguments advocating for or against the widespread implementation of such a screening program. Concerns regarding the use of LDCT screening for lung cancer include increased risk from radiation exposure, overdiagnosis of indolent tumors, and high numbers of false-positive results, which may increase patient anxiety and result in unnecessary procedures with potential complications. Current recommendations regarding diagnostic criteria and workup of positive screens as well as the risks and benefits of using LDCT for lung cancer screening are provided.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods*
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Patient Selection
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*
  • Tumor Burden