Imaging of Lung Cancer Staging

J. Matthew Archer, Mylene T. Truong*, Girish S. Shroff, Myrna C.B. Godoy, Edith M. Marom

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lung cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Imaging is integral in accurate clinical staging to stratify patients into groups to predict survival and determine treatment. The eighth edition of the tumor, node, and metastasis (TNM-8) staging system proposed by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer in 2016, accepted by both the Union for International Cancer Control and the American Joint Committee on Cancer, is the current standard method of staging lung cancer. This single TNM staging is used for all histologic subtypes of lung cancer, including nonsmall cell lung cancer, small cell lung cancer, and bronchopulmonary carcinoid tumor, and it addresses both clinical and pathologic staging. Familiarity with the strengths and limitations of imaging modalities used in staging, the nuances of TNM-8, its correct nomenclature, and potential pitfalls are important to optimize patient care. In this article, we discuss the role of computed tomography (CT) and positron emission tomography/CT in lung cancer staging, as well as current imaging recommendations pertaining to TNM-8.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)862-873
Number of pages12
JournalSeminars in Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2022


  • TNM-8
  • lung cancer
  • metastasis
  • staging


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