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Original Research: CHEST IMAGING |

Differential Diagnosis of Ground-Glass Opacity Nodules*: CT Number Analysis by Three-Dimensional Computerized Quantification

Koei Ikeda, MD, PhD; Kazuo Awai, MD, PhD; Takeshi Mori, MD, PhD; Koichi Kawanaka, MD; Yasuyuki Yamashita, MD, PhD; Hiroaki Nomori, MD, PhD
Author and Funding Information

*From the Departments of Thoracic Surgery (Drs. Ikeda, Mori, and Nomori) and Diagnostic Radiology (Drs. Awai, Kawanaka, and Yamashita), Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kumamoto University, Honjo, Kumamoto, Japan.

Correspondence to: Hiroaki Nomori, MD, PhD, Department of Thoracic Surgery, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kumamoto University, 1–1-1 Honjo, Kumamoto 860-8556, Japan; e-mail: hnomori@qk9.so-net.ne.jp



Chest. 2007;132(3):984-990. doi:10.1378/chest.07-0793
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Objectives: To differentiate among atypical adenomatous hyperplasia (AAH), bronchioloalveolar carcinoma (BAC), and adenocarcinoma showing ground-glass opacity (GGO) on CT scans, we conducted a study to determine the optimal parameter on CT number analysis using three-dimensional (3D) computerized quantification.

Methods: From the CT numbers of GGO lesions obtained by 3D computerized quantification, CT number histogram pattern, peak CT number on the histogram, mean CT number, and the 5th to 95th percentile CT numbers were analyzed to determine the optimal parameter for differentiation among AAH (n = 10), BAC (n = 21), and adenocarcinoma (n = 12).

Results: While the CT number histogram showed one peak in all 10 of the AAH lesions (100%), it showed two peaks in 8 of 21 BAC lesions (38%), and in 5 of 12 adenocarcinoma lesions (42%). For differentiation between AAH and BAC, the 75th percentile CT number with a cutoff value of −584 Hounsfield units (HU) was optimal, with a sensitivity of 0.90 and a specificity of 0.81. For differentiation between BAC and adenocarcinoma, a mean CT number with a cutoff value of −472 HU was optimal, with a sensitivity of 0.75 and a specificity of 0.81.

Conclusions: From the analysis of CT numbers of GGO lesions obtained by 3D computerized quantification, we conclude the following: (1) two peaks on the CT number histogram can rule out AAH; (2) the 75th percentile is the optimal CT number for differentiating between AAH and BAC; and (3) the mean CT number is the optimal CT number for differentiating between BAC and adenocarcinoma.

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