La radiologia medica

, Volume 124, Issue 1, pp 8–13 | Cite as

Contrast analysis of the relationship between the HRCT sign and new pathologic classification in small ground glass nodule-like lung adenocarcinoma

  • You Meng
  • Chen-Lu Liu
  • Qing Cai
  • Yu-Ying Shen
  • Shuang-Qing ChenEmail author



To perform contrast analysis of the relationship between high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) signs and new pathologic classification of small GGNs-like lung adenocarcinoma.

Materials and methods

The HRCT data from 145 pathologically confirmed cases of small GGNs of lung adenocarcinoma were analysed retrospectively. The 145 cases of GGNs were divided into pre-invasive (PI) group (n = 46), micro-invasive adenocarcinoma (MIA) group (n = 48), and invasive adenocarcinoma (IAC) group (n = 51). HRCT imaging sign of GGNs in each group was assessed and compared.


Significant differences in GGN size were found among the three groups (P < 0.05). The presence of a tumour–lung interface in the MIA and IAC groups was significantly higher than that in the PI group (P < 0.05), but no significant difference was found between the MIA and IAC groups. The presence of a pleural indentation sign in the IAC group was significantly higher than that in the other two groups (P < 0.05), but no significant difference was noted between the latter two groups. Significant differences were found in the lobulated and spicule signs among the three groups (P < 0.05). The presence of a microvascular sign in the MIA and IAC groups was significantly higher than that in the PI group (P < 0.05). No significant difference was found in the GGN density, vacuole sign, air bronchus sign and notch sign among the three groups.


The HRCT signs of GGNs could be used to differentiate among pre-invasive lesions, micro-invasive lesions and invasive lung adenocarcinoma.


High-resolution computed tomography Ground glass nodule Pathologic classification Lung adenocarcinoma 



We thank Mr. Zhang for the English revision.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Medical Radiology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Oncologythe Affiliated Suzhou Hospital of Nanjing Medical UniversitySuzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Radiologythe Affiliated Suzhou Hospital of Nanjing Medical UniversitySuzhouChina

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