Lung adenocarcinomas: correlation of computed tomography and pathology findings

Diagn Interv Imaging. 2016 Oct;97(10):955-963. doi: 10.1016/j.diii.2016.06.021. Epub 2016 Sep 14.


Adenocarcinoma is the most common histologic type of lung cancer. Recent lung adenocarcinoma classifications from the International Association for the Study of Lung cancer, the American Thoracic Society and the European Respiratory Society (IASLC/ETS/ERS, 2011) and World Health Organization (WHO, 2015) define a wide range of adenocarcinoma types and subtypes featuring different prognosis and management. This spectrum of lesions translates into various CT presentations and features, which generally show good correlation with histopathology, stressing the key role of the radiologist in the diagnosis and management of those patients. This review aims at helping radiologists to understand the basics of the up-to-date adenocarcinoma pathological classifications, radio-pathological correlations and how to use them in the clinical setting, as well as other imaging-related correlations (radiogenomics, quantitative analysis, PET-CT).

Keywords: Computed tomography; Lung adenocarcinoma; Pathology; Solitary pulmonary nodule; Subsolid nodules.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / classification
  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / classification
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Solitary Pulmonary Nodule / classification
  • Solitary Pulmonary Nodule / diagnostic imaging
  • Solitary Pulmonary Nodule / pathology
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*