Use of pulmonary function test demographic data to identify high-risk patients for lung cancer screening

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Amanda R. Jimenez *
Arielle Shaeffer Weiss
Anthony C. Campagna
(*) Corresponding Author:
Amanda R. Jimenez | amanda.jimenez@duke.edu

Abstract

Lung Cancer is the primary cause of cancer-related death in the United States. We have recognized a need for novel methods of identification and consideration of enrollment into a lung cancer screening program for those at the highest risk of lung cancer. Our primary goal was to determine if pulmonary function test (PFT) demographic data would be useful in identifying patients for lung cancer screening. We retrospectively reviewed PFTs performed at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center (LHMC) January 2012 through January 2013 and found that of patients identified as high risk of lung cancer, 89% had passed through our PFT lab but had not yet been screened. Investigation into the barriers of lung cancer screening to better understand how to increase appropriate enrollment then followed. A total of 3098 PFTs were reviewed from January 2012 through January 2013 and 634 patients (20%) were identified as high risk for lung cancer.  Of 634 patients, 70 (11%) were already in the LHMC lung cancer screening program. The remaining 564 patients (89%) were not enrolled, and of these, it was found that 292 patients identified as high risk for lung cancer represented missed opportunities for screening. The remaining 272 patients were appropriately not screened with the three most common reasons being prior imaging with positive finding, lung cancer within five years, and provider discussed but scan not yet performed. Appropriate enrollment in a lung cancer screening program may be increased with the careful use of demographic data obtained from a PFT lab. 


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Author Biographies

Amanda R. Jimenez, Duke University Health System, Department of Medicine

Medical Instructor - Department of Medicine

Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care 

Duke University 

Arielle Shaeffer Weiss, University of Washington, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Resident, Ob-Gyn, University of Washington

Anthony C. Campagna, Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

Staff, Department of Medicine

Division of Pulmonary Critical Care

Lahey Hospital and Medical Center