In a previous study the value of conventional tomography was assessed in the diagnosis of 100 potentially malignant opacities on the chest radiograph. To determine which of the radiological signs were most useful the radiologists reviewed 82 of the original 100 radiographs independently, searching for the presence or absence of 36 signs. The five commonest signs of bronchial carcinoma were a mass, coarse linear shadows contiguous to a mass, unilateral hilar enlargement, linear shadows from mass to periphery, and an irregular margin to a mass. The combination of either two or three of these signs was highly sensitive, 95% and 89% respectively, in detecting carcinoma. The most useful specific signs were lobulation of the mass and cavitation with thick or irregular walls.
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