In 1998, approximately 150,000 Americans were diagnosed
with lung cancer.1 In many of these patients, the cancer
presented as a solitary pulmonary nodule (SPN). The generally accepted
radiologic definition of an SPN is a rounded opacity in the lung with a
diameter of < 3 cm. Spicular irregular masses, large masses, or
ill-defined masses are not technically “nodules,” although many of
the principles described for the management of the SPN may still apply.