Which findings on chest radiography of the hilar region are characteristic of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)?

Updated: Aug 27, 2019
  • Author: Sat Sharma, MD, FRCPC; Chief Editor: Eugene C Lin, MD  more...
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A solitary pulmonary nodule may be relatively well marginated and appears as a rounded lung opacity.

Reportedly, a solitary pulmonary nodule is benign in as many as 60% of patients in some series. All patterns of calcification except eccentric or scattered punctate (stippled) calcification are associated with a benign lesion.

Procuring and identifying the lesion on previous chest radiographs is extremely important. This may help establish the doubling time interval for the nodule. A doubling time of 30-365 days commonly is associated with a malignancy.

Other possible signs of malignancy include the following:

  • Diameter more than 3 cm

  • Ill-defined or spiculated margin

  • Rigler notch sign (a notch on the nodule corresponding to the vascular supply)

  • Radial striated markings at the nodular margin (termed corona radiata)

  • Thick-walled cavity

  • Eccentric calcification

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