We aimed to evaluate the correlation between the size of the solid component on thin-section computed tomography (CT) and invasive component on pathology in small lung adenocarcinomas manifesting as subsolid nodules.
Fifty-nine subsolid nodules in 58 patients were evaluated. The maximum diameters of subsolid nodules and the solid component on CT were measured by two radiologists in three-dimensional (3D) and two-dimensional (2D) planes using in-house software. In addition, the maximum diameters of the tumor and invasive component were measured on pathology by two pathologists. CT measurements were compared with pathologic measurements.
There was a strong correlation between the size of the solid component on CT and invasive component on pathology, as well as the size of subsolid nodules and the tumor size (r = 0.82–0.87 for 3D measurement, 0.72–0.88 for 2D measurement; p < 0.0001). The size of subsolid nodules in 3D and 2D measurements was significantly larger than tumor size (p < 0.0001). In regard to measurement of the solid component, 3D measurements tended to be larger than the size of the invasive component whereas 2D measurement tended to be similar to the size of the invasive component. By applying a size criteria of solid component that was 3 mm or lesser in maximum diameter, preinvasive and minimally invasive adenocarcinoma was predicted with a specificity of 100% (28 of 28).
We found a significant correlation between the size of the solid component on thin-section CT and the invasive component on pathology.