The computed tomography (CT) is the “golden standard” for the assessment of lung cancer progression due to its ability to clearly display the radiomorphologic characteristics. As lung cancer mortality is very high, more comprehensive approaches may be needed for its earlier diagnosis. The research hypothesis was to investigate the relation between the CT morphologic characteristics (size, stage, and edges) of pulmonary lesion and the extent of release of a soluble fragment of cytokeratin 19 being a part of the cytoskeleton of lung epithelial cells.
This is a retrospective study including 246 pulmonary lesions being diagnosed and subsequently treated at the University Hospital Centre Zagreb, Croatia. The information about the relevant clinical, radiological, and laboratory facts was collected at the time of diagnosis in 164 NSCLC patients, 52 patients with pulmonary metastases, and 30 benign cysts. CYFRA 21-1 was determined by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. The nonparametric statistical methods were applied.
There was a positive correlation between the size and CYFRA 21-1 in NSCLC unlike metastases or cysts (p = 0.0001). The highest values of CYFRA 21-1 were seen in advanced stages of NSCLC and lesions with spiculated edges.
The level of CYFRA 21-1 positively correlates with the greatest size of NSCLC measured by CT. The differences in CYFRA 21-1 according to TNM classification are significant (p = 0.0001): higher values were observed in advanced stages and with tumors having spiculated, lobulated, and poorly defined edges. The combination of CYFRA 21-1 and CT may help articulate the malignancy of pulmonary lesions.