Managing Incidental Findings

Valeria Makeeva, MD; Kirsten Schofield, MS; Melissa Davis, MBA, MD; Nadja Kadom, MD


Appl Radiol. 2021;50(6):22-26. 

In This Article

Evidence-based Follow-up Recommendations

Evidence-based documents guide radiologists in identifying findings that do or do not require follow-up. They also help radiologists issue follow-up recommendations with regards to imaging modality and follow-up time intervals. Evidence-based guidance can prevent unnecessary follow-up tests, thereby decreasing patient anxiety and financial burden on patients and society.[9]

Many medical societies and the American College of Radiology (ACR) have developed documents to guide management of various incidental findings.[10] When the evidence base for some existing guidance documents is weak, or when there is no evidence to inform management, radiologists can collaborate locally to develop standardized recommendations based on local expert opinions.[11] Otherwise, radiologists have to rely on their own experience and level of confidence.