Addition of the Fleischner Society Guidelines to Chest CT Examination Interpretive Reports Improves Adherence to Recommended Follow-up Care for Incidental Pulmonary Nodules.
ABSTRACT: The study aimed to determine whether the addition of the Fleischner Society guidelines to chest computed tomography (CT) reports identifying incidental pulmonary nodules affects follow-up care.Beginning in 2008, a template containing the Fleischner Society guidelines was added at the interpreting radiologist's discretion to chest CT reports describing incidental solid pulmonary nodules at our institution. The records of all medical centers in Olmsted county were used to capture the complete medical history of local patients >35 years old diagnosed with a pulmonary nodule from April 1, 2008 to October 1, 2011. Patients with a history of cancer or previously diagnosed nodule, or who died before follow-up, were excluded. Patients were categorized according to whether they did ("template group") or did not ("control group") have the template added. Nodule size and smoking history were used to determine recommended follow-up care. Differences in follow-up were compared between groups using Pearson's chi-square test.A total of 510 patients (276 in the template group, 234 in the control group) were included in the study. Only 198 patients (39%) received their recommended follow-up care. Template group patients were significantly more likely to receive recommended follow-up care compared to control group patients (45% vs 31%, P?=?.0014). Most patients whose management did not adhere to Fleischner Society guidelines did not receive a recommended follow-up chest CT (210 out of 312, 67%).The addition of the Fleischner Society guidelines to chest CT reports significantly increases the likelihood of receiving recommended follow-up care for patients with incidental pulmonary nodules. Additional education is needed to improve appropriate guideline utilization by radiologists and adherence by ordering providers.
Project description:PURPOSE:To develop natural language processing (NLP) to identify incidental lung nodules (ILNs) in radiology reports for assessment of management recommendations. METHODS AND MATERIALS:We searched the electronic health records for patients who underwent chest CT during 2014 and 2017, before and after implementation of a department-wide dictation macro of the Fleischner Society recommendations. We randomly selected 950 unstructured chest CT reports and reviewed manually for ILNs. An NLP tool was trained and validated against the manually reviewed set, for the task of automated detection of ILNs with exclusion of previously known or definitively benign nodules. For ILNs found in the training and validation sets, we assessed whether reported management recommendations agreed with Fleischner Society guidelines. The guideline concordance of management recommendations was compared between 2014 and 2017. RESULTS:The NLP tool identified ILNs with sensitivity and specificity of 91.1% and 82.2%, respectively, in the validation set. Positive and negative predictive values were 59.7% and 97.0%. In reports of ILNs in the training and validation sets before versus after introduction of a Fleischner reporting macro, there was no difference in the proportion of reports with ILNs (108 of 500 [21.6%] versus 101 of 450 [22.4%]; P = .8), or in the proportion of reports with ILNs containing follow-up recommendations (75 of 108 [69.4%] versus 80 of 101 [79.2%]; P = .2]. Rates of recommendation guideline concordance were not significantly different before and after implementation of the standardized macro (52 of 75 [69.3%] versus 60 of 80 [75.0%]; P = .43). CONCLUSION:NLP reliably automates identification of ILNs in unstructured reports, pertinent to quality improvement efforts for ILN management.
Project description:Hundreds of thousands of incidental pulmonary nodules are detected annually in the United States, and this number will increase with the implementation of lung cancer screening. The lengthy period for active pulmonary nodule surveillance, often several years, is unique among cancer regimens. The psychosocial impact of longitudinal incidental nodule follow-up, however, has not been described.We sought to evaluate the psychosocial impact of longitudinal follow-up of incidental nodule detection on patients.Veterans who participated in our previous study had yearly follow-up qualitative interviews coinciding with repeat chest imaging. We used conventional content analysis to explore their knowledge of nodules and the follow-up plan, and their distress.Seventeen and six veterans completed the year one and year two interviews, respectively. Over time, most patients continued to have inadequate knowledge of pulmonary nodules and the nodule follow-up plan. They desired and appreciated more information directly from their primary care provider, particularly about their lung cancer risk. Distress diminished over time for most patients, but it increased around the time of follow-up imaging for some, and a small number reported severe distress.In settings in which pulmonary nodules are commonly detected, including lung cancer screening programmes, resources to optimise patient-centred communication strategies that improve patients' knowledge and reduce distress should be developed.
Project description:PURPOSE:Computed tomography (CT) is an effective method for detecting and characterizing lung nodules in vivo. With the growing use of chest CT, the detection frequency of lung nodules is increasing. Noninvasive methods to distinguish malignant from benign nodules have the potential to decrease the clinical burden, risk, and cost involved in follow-up procedures on the large number of false-positive lesions detected. This study examined the benefit of including perinodular parenchymal features in machine learning (ML) tools for pulmonary nodule assessment. METHODS:Lung nodule cases with pathology confirmed diagnosis (74 malignant, 289 benign) were used to extract quantitative imaging characteristics from computed tomography scans of the nodule and perinodular parenchyma tissue. A ML tool development pipeline was employed using k-medoids clustering and information theory to determine efficient predictor sets for different amounts of parenchyma inclusion and build an artificial neural network classifier. The resulting ML tool was validated using an independent cohort (50 malignant, 50 benign). RESULTS:The inclusion of parenchymal imaging features improved the performance of the ML tool over exclusively nodular features (P < 0.01). The best performing ML tool included features derived from nodule diameter-based surrounding parenchyma tissue quartile bands. We demonstrate similar high-performance values on the independent validation cohort (AUC-ROC = 0.965). A comparison using the independent validation cohort with the Fleischner pulmonary nodule follow-up guidelines demonstrated a theoretical reduction in recommended follow-up imaging and procedures. CONCLUSIONS:Radiomic features extracted from the parenchyma surrounding lung nodules contain valid signals with spatial relevance for the task of lung cancer risk classification. Through standardization of feature extraction regions from the parenchyma, ML tool validation performance of 100% sensitivity and 96% specificity was achieved.
Project description:Solitary pulmonary nodules are common, often incidental findings on chest CT scans. The investigation of pulmonary nodules is time-consuming and often leads to protracted follow-up with ongoing radiological surveillance, however, clinical calculators that assess the risk of the nodule being malignant exist to help in the stratification of patients. Furthermore recent advances in interventional pulmonology include the ability to both navigate to nodules and also to perform autofluorescence endomicroscopy. In this study we assessed the efficacy of incorporating additional information from label-free fibre-based optical endomicrosopy of the nodule on assessing risk of malignancy. Using image analysis and machine learning approaches, we find that this information does not yield any gain in predictive performance in a cohort of patients. Further advances with pulmonary endomicroscopy will require the addition of molecular tracers to improve information from this procedure.
Project description:The aim of this study was to assess awareness and conformance to the Fleischner society recommendations for the management of subsolid pulmonary nodules (SSN) in clinical practice.An online questionnaire with four imaging cases was sent to 1579 associates from the European Respiratory Society and 757 from the European Society of Thoracic Imaging. Each respondent was asked to choose from several options which one they thought was the indicated management for the nodule presented. Awareness and conformance to the Fleischner recommendations (FR) were assessed and correlated to respondents characteristics.In total, 119 radiologists (response rate 16.0 %) and 243 pulmonologists (response rate 16.5 %) were included. Awareness of the FR was higher in radiologists than in pulmonologists (93 % vs. 70 %, p?<?0.001), as was implementation in daily practice (66 % vs. 47 %, p?<?0.001). Radiologists conformed to FR in rates of 31, 69, 68, and 82 %, and pulmonologists in 12, 43, 70, and 75 % for cases 1 to 4, respectively. Overmanagement was common. Conformance in SSN management was associated with awareness, working in an academic practice, larger practice size, teaching residents, and higher SSN exposure.Although awareness of the Fleischner recommendations for SSN management is widespread, management choices in clinical practice show large heterogeneity.• Guideline awareness among clinicians is widespread, but conformance shows large heterogeneity. • Awareness and conformance is significantly higher among radiologists than pulmonologists. • Overmanagement is common, which may lead to avoidable financial and physical burden.
Project description:Intermediate lung nodules are frequently discovered in CT imaging as either incidental or part of cancer screening. The Lung Nodule Manager allows for a quick retrieval of guidelines by physicians and health care professionals to determine the proper management and follow-up for patients.
Project description:A solitary pulmonary nodule (SPN) is a well-defined radiographic opacity up to 3 cm in diameter that is surrounded by unaltered aerated lung. Frequently, it is an incidental finding on chest radiographs and chest CT scans. Determining the probability of malignancy is the first step in the evaluation of SPN. This can be done by looking at specific risk factors and the rate of radiographic progression. Subsequent management is guided by the type of the nodule. Patients with solid nodules and low pretest probability can be followed radiographically; those with high probability, who are good surgical candidates, can be referred for surgical resection. When the pretest probability is in the intermediate range additional testing such as biopsy should be done. Various modalities are now available to obtain tissue diagnosis. These modalities differ in their yield and complication rate. Patients with SPN should be well informed of each approach's risks and benefits and should be able to make an informed decision regarding the different diagnostic and therapeutic modalities.
Project description:Pulmonary nodules (PNs) are often detected incidentally during coronary computed tomographic (CT) angiography, which is increasingly being used to evaluate patients with chest pain symptoms. However, the efficiency of following up on incidentally detected PN is unknown.We determined demographic and clinical characteristics of stable symptomatic patients referred for coronary CT angiography in whom incidentally detected PNs warranted follow-up. A validated lung cancer simulation model was populated with data from these patients, and clinical and economic consequences of follow-up per Fleischner guidelines versus no follow-up were simulated. Of the 3665 patients referred for coronary CT angiography, 591 (16%) had PNs requiring follow-up. The mean age of patients with PNs was 59±10 years; 66% were male; 67% had ever smoked; and 21% had obstructive coronary artery disease. The projected overall lung cancer incidence was 5.8% in these patients, but the majority died of coronary artery disease (38%) and other causes (57%). Follow-up of PNs was associated with a 4.6% relative reduction in cumulative lung cancer mortality (absolute mortality: follow-up, 4.33% versus non-follow-up, 4.54%), more downstream testing (follow-up, 2.34 CTs per patient versus non-follow-up, 1.01 CTs per patient), and an average increase in quality-adjusted life of 7 days. Costs per quality-adjusted life-year gained were $154 700 to follow up the entire cohort and $129 800 per quality-adjusted life-year when only smokers were included.Follow-up of PNs incidentally detected in patients undergoing coronary CT angiography for chest pain evaluation is associated with a small reduction in lung cancer mortality. However, significant downstream testing contributes to limited efficiency, as demonstrated by a high cost per quality-adjusted life-year, especially in nonsmokers.
Project description:To assess the prevalence and clinical significance of incidental findings identified during computed tomography imaging of coronary artery bypass grafts.This prospective study includes 144 patients undergoing coronary graft patency assessment using computed tomography. Incidental findings were classified as significant if they were considered to need an immediate action or treatment, short-term work-up or follow-up, or minor. A total of 211 incidental findings were present in 109 (75.7%) patients. Seventy-one incidental findings (33.6%) were cardiac and 140 (66.4%) were extracardiac. Most common cardiac incidental findings were atrial dilatation [39 patients, 48 incidental findings (67.6%)] and aortic valve calcifications (7 patients, 9.9%). Among the 140 extracardiac incidental findings, the most common were lung nodules (51 patients, 54 nodules, 38.6%), and emphysema (21 patients, 15%). Thirty-six (25.7%) extracardiac incidental findings were significant and notably, 23 (63.9%) were lung nodules. Follow-up was recommended in 37 cases, among which all patients with significant lung nodules (23 patients, 62.2%). In conclusion, most common computed tomography incidental findings in patients with coronary grafts were lung nodules and emphysema.