Pulmonary Nodules: Identification and Risk Assessment
Carola Palla, Andrea Porfiri
A pulmonary nodule is defined as a spherical, rounded, or irregularly shaped and more or less defined parenchymal opacity with a diameter of up to 3 cm. Incidental, newly identified nodules of indeterminate (non-fibrocalcific) composition are a relatively common finding (8–51% prevalence on CT scans). In 96% of cases, multiple nodules are detected with a diameter of less than 10 mm; of these, up to 72% are smaller than 5 mm. Their malignancy rate is relatively low (1–12%, as reported). The proper management of incidental nodules is of particular importance and interest in thoracic radiology, as the early identification of malignant lesions benefits from curative surgical treatment and could help avoid invasive procedures in patients with benign lesions.
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