Fast Five Quiz: Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer

Daniel S. Schwartz, MD, MBA


February 03, 2021

As a result of the intraluminal growth pattern that occurs with most NSCLCs, bronchial stenosis and post-stenotic changes are common in patients with NSCLC. Chest radiographs may reveal narrowing of the main bronchi or a complete cutoff.

PET imaging has a higher sensitivity, higher specificity, and higher accuracy than CT scanning in staging mediastinal disease. In fact, published studies have shown a sensitivity of 80%, an overall specificity of 92%, and an accuracy of 92%, with a positive predictive value of 90% and a negative predictive value of 93%.

CT scanning has many benefits in patients with NSCLC. It can be used to distinguish tumor from atelectatic lung, and it may be able to demonstrate superior vena cava compression, pericardial effusion, and lymphangitic dissemination in several other conditions. A chest CT scan is the standard for staging of NSCLC. However, the inability of CT scanning to distinguish NSCLC invasion from simple approximation to adjacent structures is considered a major limitation.

In most cases, the findings of CT chest scans and clinical presentation will permit a presumptive differentiation between NSCLC and SCLC.

Learn more about NSCLC imaging and staging.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.