The multidisciplinary team plays an important role in the prediction of small solitary pulmonary nodules: a propensity-score-matching study

Chaoyuan Liu, Lishu Zhao, Fang Wu, Yeqian Feng, Rong Jiang, Chunhong Hu


Background: According to guidelines, it is recommended that pulmonary nodules be discussed by a multidisciplinary team (MDT); however, the evidence for the effectiveness of MDT is sparse. To demonstrate the importance of the involvement of an MDT for the prediction of small solitary pulmonary nodules, we conducted this retrospective study.
Methods: The patient database of those who attended our MDT and the electronic medical record system of our hospital was used; we collected all the data from patients found with small solitary pulmonary nodules (≤2 cm), which were suspected as malignant and who received a resection of the nodules. We summarized their characteristics and analyzed them, and then compared the post-operation pathological diagnosis of the patients who attended an MDT to those who did not participate in an MDT during the same period (2017– 2019.2). We also collected the follow-up data. Propensity-score-matching was utilized during the process of analysis to get a more reliable conclusion.
Results: Most of the qualified patients were female. Most of the small solitary pulmonary nodules (≤2 cm) were adenocarcinoma and located on the right upper lobe. There were no differences in the SUV value between malignant nodules and benign nodules. After propensity-score matching, the total positive prediction value of small solitary pulmonary nodules (≤2 cm) without an MDT was 69.4%, while that with MDT was 77.6%; the difference was not significant with a P value of 0.30. The negative predictive value of MDT was 76.2%.
Conclusions: In developing countries, small solitary pulmonary nodules tend to be more correctly diagnosed with MDT.