Volume Doubling Times of Benign and Malignant Nodules in Lung Cancer Screening
Mark M Hammer, Sumit Gupta, Suzanne C Byrne
Curr Probl Diagn Radiol . 2023 Nov-Dec;52(6):515-518. doi: 10.1067/j.cpradiol.2023.06.014. Epub 2023 Jul 2.
The purpose of this study was to measure the fractions of benign and malignant nodules in lung cancer screening that grow on follow-up, and to measure the volume doubling time (VDT) of those that grow. In this retrospective study, we included nodules from CT lung cancer screening in our healthcare network, for which a follow-up CT performed at least 2 months later showed the nodule to be persistent. The nodules were measured using semiautomated volumetric segmentation software at both timepoints. Growth was defined as an increase in volume by 25%. VDTs were calculated, and the fraction <400 days was recorded. Categorical variables were compared with Fisher's exact test, and continuous variables by the Wilcoxon test. The study included 153 nodules, of which 44 were malignant and 109 benign. Thirty (68%) of malignant nodules and 36 (33%) of benign nodules grew (P < 0.001). For growing nodules, VDT was 318 days for malignant nodules and 389 for benign nodules (P = 0.21). For growing solid nodules, VDT was 204 days for malignant nodules and 386 days for benign nodules (P = 0.01); of these, VDT was <400 days for 12/13 (92%) of malignant nodules and 15/26 (58%) of benign nodules. In conclusion, malignant nodules were more likely to grow, and solid malignant nodules grew faster, than benign nodules. However, there was substantial overlap between benign and malignant nodules. This limits the utility of volume doubling time in determining malignant nodules.