, Volume 12, Issue 12, pp 829-835
Date: 08 Feb 2012

Computed tomography (CT) predicts accurately the pathologic tumour size in stage I non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

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In stage I non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tumour size has been the most consistent determinant of survival. The choice of therapy option is based on accurate definition of the stage. The aim of our study is to correlate tumour size by computed tomography scan (CT) with pathologic size and to determine possible prognostic factors in surgically resected pathologic stage IA and IB NSCLC patients.


Retrospective review of CT scans and medical history data from 89 pathologic stage I NSCLC patients. Clinical prognostic factors analysed were age, gender, smoking status, pulmonary function, performance status (PS), surgical procedure, histopathology, vessel invasion, pleural infiltration, tumour size and number of lymph nodes resected. According to the new TNM classification for lung cancer, tumour size was divided into five groups (I: <2 cm, II: 2–3 cm, III: 3–5 cm, IV: 5–7 cm and V: >7 cm).


After a median surveillance of 55.2 months, 42 patients relapsed and 55 had died. The 5-year progressionfree survival was 55.7% and 5-year overall survival (OS) 49.9% (median 58.97 months). None of the clinical parameters analysed were predictors of OS. Significant correlation was found between tumour size in CT scan and pathologic stage (Pearson 0.75).


In our analysis with 89 surgically resected stage IA and IB NSCLC patients we found a good correlation between clinical and pathologic tumour size by CT scan. The prognoses factors analysed had no significant impact on survival.