Updated Fleischner Society Guidelines for Managing Incidental Pulmonary Nodules: Common Questions and Challenging Scenarios

Radiographics. 2018 Sep-Oct;38(5):1337-1350. doi: 10.1148/rg.2018180017.


The new guidelines for managing incidental pulmonary nodules published by the Fleischner Society in 2017 reflect an improved understanding of the risk factors and biologic features of lung cancer. Specific topics emphasized in the updated guidelines include a new threshold size for follow-up, the importance of the morphologic features of nodules, accurate nodule measurements, recognition of subsolid components, understanding interval growth or change in nodule morphology, and knowledge of patient risk factors. The updated guidelines enable greater personal flexibility in the decision-making process and encourage individualized management of pulmonary nodules. These factors may introduce new challenges for radiologists, who previously used solely nodule size to make management recommendations. The authors describe eight scenarios that illustrate the challenges potentially encountered when applying the new guidelines to pulmonary nodule management. ©RSNA, 2018.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Incidental Findings
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Multiple Pulmonary Nodules / diagnostic imaging*
  • Multiple Pulmonary Nodules / pathology
  • Solitary Pulmonary Nodule / diagnostic imaging*
  • Solitary Pulmonary Nodule / pathology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / standards*