Volumetric computed tomography screening for lung cancer: three rounds of the NELSON trial

Nanda Horeweg*, Carlijn M. van der Aalst, Rozemarijn Vliegenthart, Yingru Zhao, Xueqian Xie, Ernst Th Scholten, Willem Mali, Erik Thunnissen, Carla Weenink, Harry J. M. Groen, Jan-Willem J. Lammers, Kristiaan Nackaerts, Joost van Rosmalen, Matthijs Oudkerk, Harry J. de Koning

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Several medical associations recommended lung cancer screening by low-dose computed tomography scanning for high-risk groups. Counselling of the candidates on the potential harms and benefits and their lung cancer risk is a prerequisite for screening.

In the NELSON trial, screenings are considered positive for (part) solid lung nodules with a volume >500 mm(3) and for (part) solid or nonsolid nodules with a volume-doubling time

458 (6%) of the 7582 participants screened had a positive screen result and 200 (2.6%) were diagnosed with lung cancer. The positive screenings had a predictive value of 40.6% and only 1.2% of all scan results were false-positive. In a period of 5.5 years, the risk of screen-detected lung cancer strongly depends on the result of the first scan: 1.0% after a negative baseline result, 5.7% after an indeterminate baseline and 48.3% after a positive baseline.

The screening strategy yielded few positive and false-positive scans with a reasonable positive predictive value. The 5.5-year lung cancer risk calculations aid clinicians in counselling candidates for lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1659-1667
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2013


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