Research Article

Correlation of Computed Tomography Findings with Histopathology in Small Lung Adenocancer


  • Melahat Kul
  • Kayhan Çetin Atasoy

Received Date: 16.05.2019 Accepted Date: 16.05.2019 J Ankara Univ Fac Med 2019;72(3):284-290


To analyse the correlation between computed tomography (CT) features and histopathological findings of small lung adenocancers using the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer/American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society Classification of Lung Adenocancer.

Materials and Methods:

A retrospective review of 34 nodules (size ≤2 cm) representing lung adenocancer was performed. Besides their attenuation type (solid, mixed, pure ground glass), tumours were defined as air-containing type if their vanishing ratio was ≥%50 and as solid-density type if the vanishing ratio was <%50. The correlation between CT findings (size, air bronchogram, intranodular lucencies, spiculation, lobulation, notches, pleural retraction and thickening, thickening of bronchovascular bundle) and pathological results was investigated. Tumours representing adenocancer in situ (AIS) and minimally invasive adenocancer (MIA) were investigated in one group as non-/minimally invasive adenocancer (NMIA).


Of the 34 nodules 23 (67.7%) were invasive adenocancer, nine (26.4%) were AIS, and two (5.9%) were MIA. Lesions diagnosed as invasive adenocancer were more often of solid-density type (19, 82.6%), and solid (13, 56.5%) or mixed nodules (10, 43.5%) whereas NMIA group lesions were more often of air-containing type (9, %81.8), and pure ground-glass (3, 27.3%) or mixed nodules (7, 63.6%) with a statistically significant difference between invasive adenocancer and NMIA group (p≤0.05). Furthermore, invasive adenocancer nodules had a larger maximum diameter (15.09±3.32 mm) than NMIA nodules (12.28±3.23 mm) (p=0.031). Thickening of bronchovascular bundle was another CT finding that was significantly more common in invasive adenocancer (p=0.024). The other CT findings showed also a higher frequency in invasive adenocancer compared to NMIA group except for intranodular lucency which was observed in both pathological groups equally. But this difference in frequency was not statistically significant (p>0.05).


Invasive adenocancer and NMIA lesions can be differentiated by their CT features. But greater study populations are needed for further confirmation.

Keywords: Lung Adenocancer, IASLC/ATS/ERS Classification, Computed Tomography

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