Evaluation of computed tomography in the detection of pulmonary metastases. A prospective study

Alfred E. Chang, Everett G. Schaner, David M. Conkle, M. Wayne Flye, John L. Doppman, Steven A. Rosenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


Conventional linear x‐ray tomography is often used to search for pulmonary metastases but tends to underestimate extent of disease when compared with operative findings. In a prospective study, operative findings were correlated with computed axial tomography and conventional linear tomography performed on 25 patients with a history of extrathoracic malignancy and pulmonary nodules. Computed tomography detected 69 nodules of which 31 proved to be metastases. Conventional linear tomography detected 38 nodules of which 25 were metastases. Of the 54 resected nodules measuring >3 mm, computed tomography detected 42; whereas conventional tomography detected 32. Only six of the 31 additional nodules (20%) detected by computed tomography and not by conventional tomography proved to be metastases. These results suggest that computed tomography is more sensitive than conventional tomography in detecting small pulmonary nodules; however, there is diminished specificity in identifying metastatic nodules. Cancer 43:913–916, 1979.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)913-916
Number of pages4
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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