Brief summary: The recent study “Standardization of Reporting for Incidental Findings in Lung Cancer Screening,” published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, supports a more standardized approach to incidental findings (IFs) in lung cancer screenings. This could help make it easier for healthcare professionals to explain potentially serious findings to patients and provide guidance on their clinical importance.
The study highlights the challenge that clinicians face when interpreting findings detected through screening scans, and aims to offer a simpler approach that both promotes understanding between clinicians and patients and encourages patients to undergo further tests or follow-up appointments when necessary. In short, the research suggests that standardizing the reporting process could empower clinicians in delivering more effective care for patients at risk of lung cancer.
May 8, 2023
A recent study supported the importance of standardizing reporting for incidental findings in future lung cancer screening trials. Results showed that the standardized reporting was frequently reported in low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) lung screening, with the majority being considered reportable to the clinician and requiring follow-up.1
In this study, Ilana Gareen, PhD, Department of Epidemiology, Brown University School of Public Health, and investigators, aimed to describe standardizing reporting for incidental findings reported in the LDCT arm of the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) and classify standardizing reporting for incidental findings as reportable or not reportable to the referring clinician (RC) using the American College of Radiology’s white papers on incidental findings.
The team stated that a standardized approach to standardized reporting incidental findings is crucial for proper patient management and improved outcomes.
The Standardizing Reporting for Incidental Findings in Lung Cancer Screening
The retrospective case series evaluation included 26,455 participants, with data showing 41.0% as women and the mean age as 61.4 years. There were 1179 (4.5%) Black, 470 (1.8%) Hispanic/Latino, and 24,123 (91.2%) white individuals. It was conducted from 2002 – 2009, and data were collected at 33 US academic medical centers.
Results reported the significant screening incidental finding was 33.8% of the participants who were screened with LDCT. Of the screening tests with standardized reporting for incidental findings detected, 89.1% considered the finding reportable to the radiology center.