Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Neurology. 2011 Dec 13;77(24):2123-7. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e31823d7687. Epub 2011 Nov 30.

A practical approach to incidental findings in neuroimaging research.

Author information

1
Mind Research Network, Albuquerque, NM, USA. jroberts@mrn.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We describe the systematic approach to incidental findings (IFs) used at the Mind Research Network (MRN) where all MRI scans receive neuroradiologist interpretation and participants are provided results.

METHODS:

From 2004 to 2011, 8,545 MRI scans were acquired by 45 researchers. As mandated by MRN's external institutional review board, all structural sequences were evaluated by a clinical neuroradiologist who generated a report that included recommendations for referral if indicated. Investigators received a copy of their participants' reports, which were also mailed to participants unless they specifically declined. To better understand the impact of the radiology review process, a financial analysis was completed in addition to a follow-up phone survey to characterize participant perceptions regarding receiving their MRI scan results.

RESULTS:

The radiologist identified IFs in 34% of the 4,447 participants. Of those with IFs (n = 1,518), the radiologist recommended urgent or immediate referral for 2.5% and routine referral for 17%. For 80.5%, no referral was recommended. Estimated annual cost for this approach including support for the neuroradiologist, medical director, and ancillary staff is approximately $60,000 or $24/scan. The results of the retrospective phone survey showed that 92% of participants appreciated receiving their MRI report, and the majority stated it increased their likelihood of volunteering for future studies.

CONCLUSIONS:

Addressing IFs in a cost-effective and consistent manner is possible by adopting a policy that provides neuroradiology interpretation and offers participant assistance with clinical follow-up when necessary. Our experience suggests that an ethical, institution-wide approach to IFs can be implemented with minimal investigator burden.

PMID:
22131543
PMCID:
PMC3235350
DOI:
10.1212/WNL.0b013e31823d7687
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication types, MeSH terms, Grant support

Publication types

MeSH terms

Grant support

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center