Indeterminate lung nodules detected on CT are common findings in the clinical practice, and the correct assessment of their size is critical for patient evaluation and management. We compared the stability of three definitions of nodule diameter (Feret's mean diameter, Martin's mean diameter and area-equivalent diameter) to inter-observer variability on a population of 336 solid nodules from 207 subjects. We found that inter-observer agreement was highest with Martin's mean diameter (intra-class correlation coefficient = 0.977, 95% Confidence interval = 0.977–0.978), followed by area-equivalent diameter (0.972, 0.971–0.973) and Feret's mean diameter (0.965, 0.964–0.966). The differences were statistically significant. In conclusion, although all the three diameter definitions achieved very good inter-observer agreement (ICC > 0.96), Martin's mean diameter was significantly better than the others. Future guidelines may consider adopting Martin's mean diameter as an alternative to the currently used Feret's (caliper) diameter for assessing the size of lung nodules on CT.
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