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March 11, 1974

Management of Solitary Pulmonary Nodules: An Organized Approach Based on Growth Rate and Statistics

Author Affiliations

From the Scottsdale Memorial Hospital, Scottsdale, Ariz.

JAMA. 1974;227(10):1141-1144. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230230017013

Too many patients with benign pulmonary nodules are subjected to lung resection.

Based on tumor growth rate and statistics, a method of treatment for patients with pulmonary nodules is proposed that relies on serial chest x-ray films when a definite diagnosis cannot be made by sputum analysis in patients 30 to 45 years old and evaluation by sputum analysis and needle or brush biopsy in patients over 45 years old. Patients less than 30 years of age require serial films only.

This approach should spare most patients with benign nodules from surgery while maintaining present survival rates in malignant solitary pulmonary nodules.