In this study We aimed to validate the clinicopathologic characteristics and prognostic value of the presence of solid components in the mediastinal window of computed tomography scan in clinical stage I pulmonary subsolid nodules (SSNs).

We retrospectively evaluated patients with pulmonary SSNs resected between 2011 and 2016. We classified SSNs into heterogeneous ground-glass nodules (HGGNs) (solid component detected only in lung window) and part-solid nodules (PSNs) (solid component detected both in lung/mediastinal windows).

A total of 487 patients (216 PSNs) were included. PSNs were associated with higher frequencies of micropapillary or solid pathologic patterns (18.1% vs. 3.3%; P < .001), epidermal growth factor receptor gene mutation (39.4% vs. 32.8%), and other types of gene mutations (2.3% vs. 1.1%; P = .043). Logistic regression analysis revealed that male sex (odds ratio [OR], 2.58; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.20-5.57; P = .016) and higher consolidation tumor ratio (CTR) (OR, 110.04; 95% CI, 8.56-1414.39; P < .001) remained independent for invasive adenocarcinomas with poor differentiation. Receiver operating characteristic analyses revealed that solid component size in the mediastinal window (area under the curve [AUC], 0.731; 95% CI, 0.653-0.808; P < .0001) showed a better predictive ability to poor differentiation compared with solid component size in the lung window and CTR. The 5-year recurrence-free survival (RFS) rate of PSNs was worse than that of HGGNs (94.6% vs. 99.1%; P = .019). Multivariate Cox regression revealed that positive lymph node status (hazard ratio, 22.99; 95% CI, 4.52-116.86; P < .001) indicated worse RFS for PSNs.

Reference link-