Standardizing the Reporting of Incidental, Non-Lung Cancer (Category S) Findings Identified on Lung Cancer Screening Low-Dose CT Imaging

Chest. 2022 Jun;161(6):1697-1706. doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2021.12.662. Epub 2022 Jan 12.


Lung cancer screening is slowly but steadily entering the realm of preventive health maintenance. Standardization of reporting of positive findings identified on screening low-dose CT (LDCT) scans, specifically lung nodules, is a key element of high-quality lung cancer screening. The American College of Radiology developed the Lung CT Screening Reporting and Data System (Lung-RADS) system for this purpose. In addition to detailed categorization of lung nodules, Lung-RADS identifies category S for other incidental findings identified on screening LDCT scans. In contrast to the highly structured reporting for nodules, category S findings are reported at the discretion of individual readers, with the potential for high variability of reporting. Incidental findings on lung cancer screening studies are common, may trigger unwarranted evaluation with potential harm and cost, and may precipitate patient distress. In response to these concerns, our multidisciplinary lung cancer screening program developed a structured system for standardized reporting of category S findings based on recommendations of the American College of Radiology and relevant specialty societies.

Keywords: Lung-RADS; incidental findings; low-dose chest CT imaging; lung cancer screening; structured reporting.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Early Detection of Cancer* / methods
  • Humans
  • Incidental Findings
  • Lung
  • Lung Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Thorax
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods