Introduction: In incidence lung cancer screening rounds, new pulmonary nodules are regular findings. They have a higher lung cancer probability than baseline nodules. Previous studies have shown that baseline perifissural nodules (PFNs) represent benign lesions. Whether this is also the case for incident PFNs is unknown. This study evaluated newly detected nodules in the Dutch-Belgian randomized-controlled NELSON study with respect to incidence of fissure-attached nodules, their classification, and lung cancer probability. Methods: Within the NELSON trial, 7557 participants underwent baseline screening between April 2004 and December 2006. Participants with new nodules detected after baseline were included. Nodules were classified based on location and attachment. Fissure-attached nodules were re-evaluated to be classified as typical, atypical, or non-PFN by two radiologists without knowledge of participant lung cancer status. Results: One thousand four hundred eighty-four new nodules were detected in 949 participants (77.4% male, median age 59 years [interquartile range: 55–63 years]) in the second, third, and final NELSON screening round. Based on 2-year follow-up or pathology, 1393 nodules (93.8%) were benign. In total, 97 (6.5%) were fissure-attached, including 10 malignant nodules. None of the new fissure-attached malignant nodules was classified as typical or atypical PFN. Conclusions: In the NELSON study, 6.5% of incident lung nodules were fissure-attached. None of the lung cancers that originated from a new fissure-attached nodule in the incidence lung cancer screening rounds was classified as a typical or atypical PFN. Our results suggest that also in the case of a new PFN, it is highly unlikely that these PFNs will be diagnosed as lung cancer.

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Keywords Lung cancer, Pulmonary nodule, Screening
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Journal Journal of Thoracic Oncology
Han, D. (Daiwei), Heuvelmans, M.A, van der Aalst, C.M, van Smoorenburg, L.H. (Lisa H.), Dorrius, M.D, Rook, M. (Mieneke), … Oudkerk, M. (2020). New Fissure-Attached Nodules in Lung Cancer Screening: A Brief Report From The NELSON Study. Journal of Thoracic Oncology, 15(1), 125–129. doi:10.1016/j.jtho.2019.09.193