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A Journal on Dentistry and Maxillofacial Surgery

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Odontostomatology and Maxillofacial Surgery
Indexed/Abstracted in: CAB, EMBASE, Index to Dental Literature, PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index




Minerva Stomatologica 2017 April;66(2):75-80

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4970.17.03971-1


language: English

Should incidental findings in diagnostic imaging be reported?

Karina C. PANELLI SANTOS 1, Mariko FUJITA 1, Jefferson X. OLIVEIRA 2, Yoshinobu YANAGI 1, Junichi ASAUMI 1

1 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama, Japan; 2 Department of Stomatology, School of Dentistry, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil


BACKGROUND: Recent improvements in image quality have contributed to an increasing number of incidental findings (IF). Also called as “incidentalomas”, this generic term refers to an entity discovered unexpectedly on an imaging examination performed for other reason. Commonly, normal variants, minor developmental anomalies and imaging artifacts are described as potential pathology. Some IF were reported in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam of temporomandibular joint (TMJ), including IF in the brain, maxillary sinus, ethmoidal cells, mastoid cells, salivary glands, muscles. The aim of this study is to evaluate the prevalence of IF on MRI of TMJ from Japanese patients.
METHODS: An image archive from 872 patients referred to MRI evaluation due to TMJ symptomatology was assessed. Three experienced radiologists evaluated all images, and the final diagnosis was achieved by consensus. The data regarding IF was recorded, considering only tumor and tumor-like lesions.
RESULTS: A total of 12 (1.38%) of tumor and tumor-like lesions were observed from all 872 MRI exams evaluated. The most frequent lesion was arachnoid cyst (0.45%), followed by neoplastic lesions (0.22%).
CONCLUSIONS: The question “should every IF be reported?” is still difficult to answer. Relevant IF are rare, and radiologists are expected to be reasonable: think about the adverse effects of reporting an IF, and, based on their own judgment, choose for a positive or a negative answer.

KEY WORDS: Incidental findings - Temporomandibular joint - Magnetic resonance imaging - Ethics

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Publication History

Issue published online: February 20, 2017
Article first published online: December 14, 2016
Manuscript accepted: December 5, 2016
Manuscript revised: September 14, 2016
Manuscript received: April 8, 2016

Cite this article as

Panelli Santos KC, Fujita M, Oliveira JX, Yanagi Y, Asaumi J. Should incidental findings in diagnostic imaging be reported? Minerva Stomatol 2017;66:75-80. DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4970.17.03971-1

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