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Background: CT scanning remains one of the most routinely used diagnostic tools in a setting of InterstitialLung Disease (ILD). New and improved technologies, such as High Resolution Computer Tomography (HRCT) have revolutionized the quality of imaging, leading to a prominent increase in number of incidental findings that may or may not be of any clinical significance. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of incidental findings on thoracic CT and their clinical significance.

Methods: Retrospective analysis was conducted on a cohort of 84 patients referred to our academic center as cases of ILD. Patients were referred for further evaluation between January 2000 and January 2014 and were followed over the disease course. CT scans were done annually as part of clinical management and patients were screened for any incidental findings. All incidental findings were reviewed, recorded in a clinical database and followed up on subsequent visits.

Results: 25 (30%) patients were found to have incidental findings. Liver abnormalities were found in 12 (14.29 %) patients. 11(13.10 %) patients were reported to have coronary artery calcifications. 5 (5.95 %) and 3 (3.57%) patients had thyroid abnormalities and renal cysts, respectively. A malignant lesion was found in 1 patient each in liver and thyroid abnormality subgroup.

Conclusion: Incidental findings are common on thoracic CT scans providing valuable and unexpected findings which warrant investigation by health care providers to exclude malignant processes.

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Originally published in the SM Journal of Clinical Medicine, 1(2). Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. This material can be found here.



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