Missed lung cancer: When, where, and why?

Annemilia Del Ciello, Paola Franchi, Andrea Contegiacomo, Giuseppe Cicchetti, Lorenzo Bonomo, Anna Rita Larici

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

53 Citazioni (Scopus)


Missed lung cancer is a source of concern among radiologists and an important medicolegal challenge. In 90% of the cases, errors in diagnosis of lung cancer occur on chest radiographs. It may be challenging for radiologists to distinguish a lung lesion from bones, pulmonary vessels, mediastinal structures, and other complex anatomical structures on chest radiographs. Nevertheless, lung cancer can also be overlooked on computed tomography (CT) scans, regardless of the context, either if a clinical or radiologic suspect exists or for other reasons. Awareness of the possible causes of overlooking a pulmonary lesion can give radiologists a chance to reduce the occurrence of this eventuality. Various factors contribute to a misdiagnosis of lung cancer on chest radiographs and on CT, often very similar in nature to each other. Observer error is the most significant one and comprises scanning error, recognition error, decision-making error, and satisfaction of search. Tumor characteristics such as lesion size, conspicuity, and location are also crucial in this context. Even technical aspects can contribute to the probability of skipping lung cancer, including image quality and patient positioning and movement. Albeit it is hard to remove missed lung cancer completely, strategies to reduce observer error and methods to improve technique and automated detection may be valuable in reducing its likelihood.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)118-126
Numero di pagine9
RivistaDiagnostic and Interventional Radiology
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2017


  • Diagnostic Errors
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms
  • Mass Chest X-Ray
  • Risk Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


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