E-ISSN 1305-3612
Chest Imaging - Review
The new 8th TNM staging system of lung cancer and its potential imaging interpretation pitfalls and limitations with CT image demonstrations
1 Department of Radiology, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan  
2 -Department of Radiology, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan ;Department of Radiology, China Medical University School of Chinese Medicine, Taichung, Taiwan  
Diagn Interv Radiol ; : -

Abstract

 

The Tumor, Node, Metastasis (TNM) staging system approved by International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) and the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) to stage lung cancer was recently revised. The latest revision is the 8th edition published in January, 2017. This new edition made some important changes to the previous edition, including modification of the T classification based on 1cm increment, downstage of T descriptor including endobronchial tumor disregarding its distance from carina (T2), merging total and partial atelectasis/pneumonitis into the same T category (T2),  upstage diaphragmatic invasion to T4, new classification concept of adenocarcinoma in situ and minimally invasive adenocarcinoma ­­for pure and part-solid ground-glass nodules, and further division of extrathoracic metastasis into M1b and M1c based on the number and sites of extrathoracic metastases. Consensus is reached for debating situations not covered in previous edition of staging system, such as the classification of pancoast tumor based on its invasion depth and staging tumors that extend directly across the fissure as T2a. Classification of multiple sites of pulmonary involvement, including multiple primary lung cancer, separate lung cancer nodules, multiple ground-glass or lepidic lesions, and consolidation, is also discussed. Even though the 8th edition of the TNM lung staging system provides us with more precise classification based on prognostic analysis of each TNM descriptors, there are still some potential limitations and clinical situations that have not yet been clarified in terms of clinical staging by imaging. It is important for radiologists to understand the major changes introduced in the 8th edition of TNM staging and to recognize the potential pitfalls and limitations of imaging interpretation to precisely classify the clinical stage of lung cancer.

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