Ultra low dose CT screen-detected non-malignant incidental findings in the Western Australian Asbestos Review Programme

C.P. Murray, P.M. Wong, J. Teh, Nicholas De Klerk, T. Rosenow, H. Alfonso, A. Reid, Peter Franklin, Arthur Musk, Fraser Brims

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016 Asian Pacific Society of RespirologyBackground and objective: Computed tomography (CT)-based studies of asbestos-exposed individuals report a high prevalence of lung cancer, but the utility of low dose CT (LDCT) to screen asbestos-exposed populations is not established. We aimed to describe the prevalence of indeterminate pulmonary nodules and incidental findings on chest LDCT of asbestos-exposed subjects in Western Australia. Methods: A total of 906 subjects from the Western Australian Asbestos Review Programme underwent LDCT of the chest as part of regular annual review. An indeterminate (solid) nodule was defined as >50 mm3 and part-solid/non-solid nodules >5 mm. The presence of asbestos-related diseases was recorded with a standardized report. Results: Subjects were mostly (81%) men with a median age of 70 years. Fifty-eight (6.5%) participants were current smokers, 511 (56.4%) ex-smokers and 325 (36.4%) never-smokers. One hundred and four indeterminate nodules were detected in 77 subjects (8.5%); of these, eight cases had confirmed lung cancer (0.88%). Eighty-seven subjects (9.6%) had incidental findings that required further investigation, 42 (4.6%) from lower airways inflammation. The majority of nodules were solid, 4–6 mm and more common with age. Five hundred and eighty (64%) subjects had pleural plaques, and 364 (40.2%) had evidence of interstitial lung disease. Conclusion: The prevalence of LDCT-detected indeterminate lung nodules in 906 individuals with significant asbestos exposure was 8.5%, lower than many other CT studies. Clinically important incidental findings were found in 9.4%, predominantly related to lower respiratory tract inflammation. LDCT appears to effectively describe asbestos-related diseases and is likely to be an acceptable modality to monitor asbestos-exposed individuals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1419-1424
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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