Lung Nodule Follow-up Care
UW Health's pulmonary and critical care medicine team provide comprehensive follow-up care for patients with lung nodules.
Research and Guidelines
Recently new guidelines have been published by leaders in the field of thoracic radiology (the Fleishner Society) that should help standardize, and simplify the follow up of nodules identified incidentally on chest CT scans.
According to this panel of experts, no further follow up is recommended for low risk (to be determined by your physician) patients with nodules less than four mm.
More Frequent CT Scans
For patients with nodules greater than six mm surveillance CT scans will occur more frequently, according to your provider. Again, nodules that remain stable for two years are benign. Your clinician may also recommend any of the above tests for further evaluation.
We now know that greater than 99 percent of all incidental lung nodules less than five mm are benign. Obviously, these nodules need to be evaluated and an appropriate follow up schedule determined by physicians that specialize in thoracic oncology.
New imaging technology now detects nodules previously unrecognized that represent no clinical significance. Following these with more frequent scanning does not improve mortality and may lead to unnecessary intervention.