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'Incidental Findings' During CT, MRI Scans And X-Rays

Jon Olav Eikenes/

"Dr. Lincoln Berland of the University of Alabama took a very close look at the impact of those unexpected abnormalities that can show up during a CT, or MRI scans, or even an X-Ray. When we spoke to him in 2012, he said that the fear of litigation, or just the fear of uncertainty, can often lead to unnecessary treatments," says host Barbara Lewis

Dr. Berland: They are so common and they are so frequent that they lead to considerably large number of additional examinations, and even procedures, and even though commonly, the approach is or the culture is to be better safe than sorry, people don't fully appreciate that sometimes you're putting patients at greater risks and incurring greater costs by pursuing these incidental findings, most of which turn out to be completely insignificant.

Dr. Berland is professor emeritus and Vice-Chairman for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety at the Department of Radiology at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, where he's also the chief of the Body CT and 3D laboratory.