Purpose: To evaluate the association of pleural tags with visceral pleural invasion of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that does not abut the pleural surface. Materials and Methods: This retrospective study was approved by the institutional review board. Informed consent was waived. The study of NSCLC that does not abut the pleura in 141 patients (44 patients [31.2%] with visceral pleural invasion proved by pathologic analysis and 97 patients [68.8%] without pleural invasion) was conducted at a single tertiary center. The pleural tags were classified into three types (type 1, one or more linear pleural tag; type 2, one or more linear pleural tag with soft tissue component at the pleural end; and type 3, one or more soft tissue cord-like pleural tag) and prioritized into types 3, 2, and 1 when more than one type was present. Diagnostic accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), and positive likelihood ratio (LR) were calculated. Results: In the absence of pleural tags, no pleural invasion was found. The presence of type 2 pleural tags was moderately associated with visceral pleural invasion with the following results: positive LR, 5.06; accuracy, 71%; sensitivity, 36.4%; specificity, 92.8%; PPV, 76.2%; and NPV, 69.6%. Type 1 pleural tags provided weak evidence to rule out visceral pleural invasion (positive LR, 0.38). Type 3 pleural tags indicated minimal increase in the likelihood of visceral pleural invasion (positive LR, 1.68). Conclusion: Type 2 pleural tags on conventional CT images can increase the accuracy of early diagnosis of visceral pleural invasion by NSCLC that does not abut the pleura.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging