What is the growth rate of a solitary pulmonary nodule?

Updated: Aug 22, 2019
  • Author: Pujan H Patel, MD; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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Answer

Generally, a pulmonary nodule must reach 1 cm in diameter before it can be identified on a chest radiograph. For a malignant nodule to reach this size, approximately 30 doublings would have occurred. The average doubling time for a malignant tumor is 120 days (range 7-590 d). A lesion at this growth rate may be present for 10 years before discovery.


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