What is the role of contrast-enhanced CT in the workup 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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Enhanced scans may help distinguish between malignant and benign lesions. Malignant lesions enhance to a greater degree than do benign lesions after the administration of a contrast material; however, active granulomas or other infectious lesions can also enhance.

A measurement of CT numbers during enhancement is useful. An increase of 20 HU or more indicates a sensitivity for lung cancer of 98% and a specificity of 73%. [21] Contrast enhancement may be used in patients who do not have characteristic findings of either malignant or benign lesions. The nonenhancing nodules may be monitored as long as other features suggesting malignancy are not present.

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