CT Features Associated with Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Mutation Status in Patients with Lung Adenocarcinoma

CT imaging features of lung adenocarcinomas can be an image biomarker for epidermal growth factor receptor mutation status, and combining imaging-based features with clinical variables can be used to discriminate epidermal growth factor receptor mutation status better than use of clinical variables alone.

Purpose

To retrospectively identify the relationship between epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation status, predominant histologic subtype, and computed tomographic (CT) characteristics in surgically resected lung adenocarcinomas in a cohort of Asian patients.

materials and Methods

This study was approved by the institutional review board, with waiver of informed consent. Preoperative chest CT findings were retrospectively evaluated in 385 surgically resected lung adenocarcinomas. A total of 30 CT descriptors were assessed. EGFR mutations at exons 18–21 were determined by using the amplification refractory mutation system. Multiple logistic regression analyses were performed to identify independent factors of harboring EGFR mutation status. The final model was selected by using the backward elimination method, and two areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) were compared with the nonparametric approach of DeLong, DeLong, and Clarke-Pearson.

Results

EGFR mutations were found in 168 (43.6%) of 385 patients. Mutations were found more frequently in (a) female patients (P < .001); (b)those who had never smoked (P < .001); (c)those with lepidic predominant adenocarcinomas (P = .001) or intermediate pathologic grade (P < .001); (e) smaller tumors (P < .001); (f)tumors with spiculation (P = .019), ground-glass opacity (GGO) or mixed GGO (P < .001), air bronchogram (P = .006), bubblelike lucency (P < .001), vascular convergence (P = .024), thickened adjacent bronchovascular bundles (P = .027), or pleural retraction (P < .001); and (g) tumors without pleural attachment (P = .004), a well-defined margin (P = .010), marked heterogeneous enhancement (P = .001), severe peripheral emphysema (P = .002), severe peripheral fibrosis (P = .013), or lymphadenopathy (P = .028). The most important and significantly independent prognostic factors of harboring EGFR-activating mutation for the model with both clinical variables and CT features were those who had never smoked and those with smaller tumors, bubblelike lucency, homogeneous enhancement, or pleural retraction when adjusting for histologic subtype, pathologic grade, or thickened adjacent bronchovascular bundles. ROC curve analysis showed that use of clinical variables combined with CT features (area under the ROC curve = 0.778) was superior to use of clinical variables alone (area under the ROC curve = 0.690).

Conclusion

CT imaging features of lung adenocarcinomas in combination with clinical variables can be used to prognosticate EGFR mutation status better than use of clinical variables alone.

© RSNA, 2016

Online supplemental material is available for this article.

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Article History

Received July 5, 2015; revision requested September 15; revision received September 24; accepted October 23; final version accepted December 11.
Published online: Mar 03 2016
Published in print: July 2016