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Pulmonary sclerosing pneumocytoma – approaching a solitary pulmonary nodule and the limitations of risk prediction models


Our case is an asymptomatic, non-smoking, East Asian woman in her 40s presenting with a solitary pulmonary nodule (SPN). On imaging, the 1.7 cm solid SPN located in the left upper lobe, was rounded in morphology and moderately fluorodeoxyglucose avid. The clinical pretest probability of malignancy assessed by risk prediction models such as Brock (19.1%), Mayo Clinic (56.2%) and Herder (51.4%) was discordant. She underwent a percutaneous CT-guided needle biopsy, establishing a diagnosis of pulmonary sclerosing pneumocytoma (PSP). PSP is a rare benign lung neoplasm with indolent growth characteristics that has been described predominantly in non-smoking women. Our case illustrates the limitations of applying existing risk prediction models in Asia where the epidemiology and biology of lung cancer differ significantly from the Caucasian derivation cohorts. Additionally, the risk models do not account for tuberculosis, which is endemic in Asia and can mimic malignancy. Non-surgical lung biopsy remains useful in minimising unnecessary thoracotomy.

  • Lung cancer (oncology)
  • Respiratory cancer
  • Medical management
  • Statistics and research methods

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