3 years ago

CT and histopathologic characteristics of lung adenocarcinoma with pure ground-glass nodules 10 mm or less in diameter

Xin Jin, Shu-ping Tian, Mei Jin, Rui Jing, Shao-hong Zhao, Yue-qing Yang, Fang Wu



To evaluate CT and histopathologic features of lung adenocarcinoma with pure ground-glass nodule (pGGN) ≤10 mm in diameter.


CT appearances of 148 patients (150 lesions) who underwent curative resection of lung adenocarcinoma with pGGN ≤10 mm (25 atypical adenomatous hyperplasias, 42 adenocarcinoma in situs, 38 minimally invasive adenocarcinomas, and 45 invasive pulmonary adenocarcinomas) were analyzed for lesion size, density, bubble-like sign, air bronchogram, vessel changes, margin, and tumour-lung interface. CT characteristics were compared among different histopathologic subtypes. Univariate and multivariate analysis were used to assess the relationship between CT characteristics of pGGN and lesion invasiveness, respectively.


There were statistically significant differences among histopathologic subtypes in lesion size, vessel changes, and tumour-lung interface (P<0.05). Univariate analysis revealed significant differences of vessel changes, margin and tumour-lung interface between preinvasive and invasive lesions (P<0.05). Logistic regression analysis showed that the vessel changes, unsmooth margin and clear tumour-lung interface were significant predictive factors for lesion invasiveness, with odds ratios (95% CI) of 2.57 (1.17-5.62), 1.83 (1.25-2.68) and 4.25 (1.78-10.14), respectively.


Invasive lesions are found in 55.3% of subcentimeter pGGNs in our cohort. Vessel changes, unsmooth margin, and clear lung-tumour interface may indicate the invasiveness of lung adenocarcinoma with subcentimeter pGGN.

Key points

• Invasive lesions were found in 55.3% of lung adenocarcinomas with subcentimeter pGGNs

• Lesion size, vessel changes, and tumour-lung interface showed different among histopathologic subtypes

• Vessel changes, unsmooth margin and clear tumour-lung interface were predictors for lesion invasiveness

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00330-017-4829-5

DOI: 10.1007/s00330-017-4829-5

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