Optimization of CT windowing for diagnosing invasiveness of adenocarcinoma presenting as sub -solid nodules

Cui, X., Fan, S., Heuvelmans, M. A., Han, D., Zhao, Y., Groen, H. J. M., Dorrius, M. D., Oudkerk, M., de Bock, G. H., Vliegenthart, R. & Ye, Z., Jul-2020, In : European Journal of Radiology. 128, 6 p., 108981.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

PURPOSE: To evaluate the optimal window setting to diagnose the invasiveness of lung adenocarcinoma in sub-solid nodules (SSNs).

METHODS: We retrospectively included 437 SSNs and randomly divided them 3:1 into a training group (327) and a testing group (110). The presence of a solid component was regarded as indicator of invasiveness. At fixed window level (WL) of 35 Hounsfield Units (HU), two readers adjusted the window width (WW) in the training group and recorded once a solid component appeared or disappeared on CT images acquired at 120 kVp. The optimal WW cut-off value to differentiate between invasive and pre-invasive lesions, based on the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve, was defined as "core" WW. The diagnostic performances of the mediastinal window setting (WW/WL, 350/35 HU) and core window setting were then compared in the testing group.

RESULTS: Of the 437 SSNs, 88 were pre-invasive [17 atypical adenomatous hyperplasia (AAH) and 71 adenocarcinoma in situ (AIS)], 349 were invasive [233 minimally invasive adenocarcinoma (MIA), 116 invasive adenocarcinoma (IA)]. In training group, the core WW of 1175 HU was the optimal cut-off to detect solid components of SSNs (AUC:0.79). In testing group, the sensitivity, specificity, positive, negative predictive value, and diagnostic accuracy for SSN invasiveness were 49.4%, 90.5%, 95.7%, 29.7%, and 57.3% for mediastinal window setting, and 87.6%, 76.2%, 91.6%, 76.2%, and 85.5% for core window setting.

CONCLUSION: At 120 kVp, core window setting (WW/WL, 1175/35 HU) outperformed the traditional mediastinal window setting to diagnose the invasiveness of SSNs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108981
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Early online date25-Apr-2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2020



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