brand logo

Am Fam Physician. 2023;107(1):100-102

This clinical content conforms to AAFP criteria for CME.

Author disclosure: No relevant financial relationships.

Key Points for Practice

• Annual LDCT screening of current smokers and those who quit within 15 years of screening between 50 and 80 years of age reduces mortality with a number needed to screen ranging, based on baseline, from 161 to 5,276 to prevent one death over 10 years.

• Risks of LDCT screening include unnecessary additional procedures and procedure complications, including an NNH of 2,500 for death after procedures and an estimated NNH of 2,500 for death caused by radiation exposure from annual screening examinations.

• In patients with multiple comorbidities, the balance between benefit and harm can shift dramatically because benefits are less likely, procedural risks increase, and overdiagnosis becomes more likely. 

• Successful LDCT screening programs require multidisciplinary teams to respond to abnormal results using established algorithms.

From the AFP Editors

Lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) involves a mix of risks and benefits to individual patients despite consistent evidence of population-level benefit. The American College of Chest Physicians published guidelines for lung cancer screening based on a systematic review.

Already a member/subscriber?  Log In


From $165
  • Immediate, unlimited access to all AFP content
  • More than 130 CME credits/year
  • AAFP app access
  • Print delivery available

Issue Access

  • Immediate, unlimited access to this issue's content
  • CME credits
  • AAFP app access
  • Print delivery available
Purchase Access:  Learn More

Coverage of guidelines from other organizations does not imply endorsement by AFP or the AAFP.

This series is coordinated by Michael J. Arnold, MD, Assistant Medical Editor.

A collection of Practice Guidelines published in AFP is available at

Continue Reading

More in AFP

More in PubMed

Copyright © 2023 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP.  See permissions for copyright questions and/or permission requests.