Researchers develop new method for identifying lung nodules

July 16, 2012

Pulmonary nodules are common, but few studies of lung nodule identification and clinical evaluation have been performed in community settings. Researchers from Kaiser Permanente Southern California identified 7,112 patients who had one or more nodules by using existing information within the electronic medical record.

Their study presented in the August 2012 issue of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer's (IASLC) , showed how researchers developed and implemented a new method for identifying in community-based settings.

The researchers used a combination of ICD-9 codes, CPT codes and an algorithm for (NLP) to classify the nodules. This automated method had a 96 percent sensitivity and 86 percent specificity compared to clinician review.

The authors suggest that the automated process, "could be used to study the incidence and prevalence of lung nodules in large popula¬tions, with the caveat that approximately 13 percent of cases identi¬fied by the automated method would not meet our definition of one or more nodules (e.g., be false-positives)."

Since this study favored sensitivity over specificity, the authors advise that the method "could be used as a sensitive first step to be followed by more specific review of radiology transcripts or actual imaging studies."

As screening programs for lung cancer have proven to be beneficial in specific high-risk populations, this study also provides useful information for the study of screen-detected nodules.

Explore further: Lower dosage CT-guided lung biopsy protocol maintains quality, minimizes exposure

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Elephants provide big clue in fight against cancer

October 9, 2015

Carlo Maley spends his time pondering pachyderms—and cactuses and whales, and a wide array of non-human species—all in pursuit of the answer to this question: Why do some life forms get cancer while others do not?

Compound doubles up on cancer detection

October 8, 2015

Tagging a pair of markers found almost exclusively on a common brain cancer yields a cancer signal that is both more obvious and more specific to cancer, according to a study published last week in the Proceedings of the ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.