In this article, we describe an integrated approach for detection and evaluation of solitary pulmonary nodules. Initial evaluation of the solitary pulmonary nodule includes tomography, fluoroscopy, and comparison with previously obtained roentgenograms. Subsequently, thin-section computed tomography and phantom densitometry can be used for analysis, if indicated. The rationale for the use of computed tomography in the radiologic staging of bronchogenic carcinoma is to expedite and assist in the identification of the subset of patients with resectable tumors. For nonsurgical tissue diagnosis, fiberoptic bronchoscopy is generally the initial procedure for lesions 2.0 cm or larger in diameter, and transthoracic needle biopsy is used for those smaller than 2.0 cm.
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