Unexpected findings at multi-detector CT scans: Less reason to worry

A new study from Rhode Island Hospital reports that nearly seven percent of urologic multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT) scans for hematuria result in incidental findings that may be clinically important for the patient. The study is published in the American Journal of Roentgenology.

It is known that urologic CT scans can sometimes show incidental findings. To date, however, there has been limited information about the prevalence and characteristics of those findings. Julie Song, M.D., a radiologist with Rhode Island Hospital's department of diagnostic imaging, is the principal investigator on the study to attempt to classify these findings.

Song says, "We know that incidental findings are common at CT, but such discovery is not always beneficial to the patient. Early detection of treatable disease is desirable, but "incidentalomas" can also be problematic because they can lead to a cascade of additional exams, costs, and added , for many conditions that are ultimately proved to be inconsequential to patient care."

Through a , Song and colleagues examined 1,209 CT scans performed for "hematuria" (blood in the urine). Of the 1,209 patients who had undergone MDCT urography, Song found that nearly 7 percent of the scans resulted in incidental extra-urinary findings that were considered clinically important, and warranting further investigation.

The most common incidental findings were , aneurysms and . But of these, findings that ultimately had significant impact on patient care, such as those requiring immediate medical attention occurred in only 0.9 percent and cancer was found in 0.4 percent.

She concludes, "MDCT urography is a commonly performed study for hematuria. We have shown that significant incidental findings proved to be relatively uncommon."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researchers use CT to predict heart disease

Sep 28, 2010

Using incidental findings from routine diagnostic CT, radiologists may be better able to identify people at high risk for cardiovascular disease, according to a new study appearing online and in the November issue of Radiology.

Recommended for you

Putting the brakes on cancer

Dec 19, 2014

A study led by the University of Dundee, in collaboration with researchers at our University, has uncovered an important role played by a tumour suppressor gene, helping scientists to better understand how ...

Peanut component linked to cancer spread

Dec 19, 2014

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that a component of peanuts could encourage the spread and survival of cancer cells in the body.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.