Added value of computer-aided CT image features for early lung cancer diagnosis with small pulmonary nodules: A matched case-control study

Peng Huang, Seyoun Park, Rongkai Yan, Junghoon Lee, Linda C. Chu, Cheng T. Lin, Amira Hussien, Joshua Rathmell, Brett Thomas, Chen Chen, Russell HalS, David S. Ettinger, Malcolm Brock, Ping Hu, Elliot K. Fishman, Edward Gabrielson, Stephen Lam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Purpose: To test whether computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) approaches can increase the positive predictive value (PPV) and reduce the false-positive rate in lung cancer screening for small nodules compared with human reading by thoracic radiologists. Materials and Methods: A matched case-control sample of low-dose computed tomography (CT) studies in 186 participants with 4-20-mm noncalcified lung nodules who underwent biopsy in the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) was selected. Variables used for matching were age, sex, smoking status, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease status, body mass index, study year of the positive screening test, and screening results. Studies before lung biopsy were randomly split into a training set (70 cancers plus 70 benign controls) and a validation set (20 cancers plus 26 benign controls). Image features from within and outside dominant nodules were extracted. A CAD algorithm developed from the training set and a random forest classifier were applied to the validation set to predict biopsy outcomes. Receiver operating characteristic analysis was used to compare the prediction accuracy of CAD with the NLST investigator's diagnosis and readings from three experienced and board-certified thoracic radiologists who used contemporary clinical practice guidelines. Results: In the validation cohort, the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for CAD was 0.9154. By default, the sensitivity, specificity, and PPV of the NLST investigators were 1.00, 0.00, and 0.43, respectively. The sensitivity, specificity, PPV, and negative predictive value of CAD and the three radiologists' combined reading were 0.95, 0.88, 0.86, and 0.96 and 0.70, 0.69, 0.64, and 0.75, respectively. Conclusion: CAD could increase PPV and reduce the false-positive rate in the early diagnosis of lung cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)286-295
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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