The finding of a solitary pulmonary nodule is a controversial area that raises important practical problems of management. More than 80 causes of such nodules have been reported.
- Solitary pulmonary nodules require prompt and accurate diagnosis.
- A nodule that has not changed in size for two years is nearly always benign, whereas a rapidly enlarging nodule suggests either infection or inflammation.
- CT scans often show diagnostic features that are not apparent on the chest x-ray and help to distinguish between benign and malignant nodules.
- Nearly all solitary pulmonary nodules require histological confirmation, even if the radiological appearance is suggestive of malignancy.
- If the nature of a nodule is not determined after CT scanning and histological examination, surgical excision should be considered in high risk groups.