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Noncardiac Findings in Clinical Cardiac Magnetic Resonance: Prevalence in 300 Examinations After Blind Reassessment

Secchi, Francesco MD; Lanza, Ezio MD; Cannaò, Paola Maria MD; Petrini, Marcello MD; Sconfienza, Luca Maria MD, PhD; Sardanelli, Francesco MD

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: May/June 2013 - Volume 37 - Issue 3 - p 382–386
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e3182845bdb
Cardiovascular Imaging

Purpose To assess the prevalence of noncardiac findings (NCFs) in a consecutive series of 300 cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) studies.

Methods We retrospectively evaluated CMRs of 192 males and 108 females (42 ± 22 years), comparing findings included in reports to those detected after focused reassessment of CMR images. Noncardiac findings were classified as relevant if additional workup was required.

Results We found 19 NCFs, 14 (4.7%) tagged as nonrelevant and 5 (1.7%) as relevant. Images’ reassessment presented 45 NCFs, 26 (8.7%) nonrelevant and 16 (5.3%) relevant (P < 0.003).

Conclusions Cardiac magnetic resonance involves the study of areas larger than the heart alone, and NCFs are found in 1 of 7 patients; more than a half of them are not included in the initial CMR report. A small part is relevant, but detection can be unnecessarily stressful and harmful for patients and could increase costs. Risks of overdiagnosis or underreporting are to be taken into account.

From the *Unità di Radiologia, IRCCS Policlinico San Donato; and †Scuola di Specializzazione in Radiodiagnostica; ‡Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia; and §Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche per la Salute, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano, Italy.

Received for publication November 20, 2012; accepted December 20, 2012.

Reprints: Francesco Secchi, MD, IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, Unitá di Radiologia, Piazza E. Malan 2, 20097 San Donato Milanese, Milano, Italy (e-mail:

No conflicts of interest and source of funding for all authors.

Copyright © 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.