Spectrum of intracranial incidental findings on pediatric brain magnetic resonance imaging: What clinician should know?

World J Clin Pediatr. 2016 Aug 8;5(3):262-72. doi: 10.5409/wjcp.v5.i3.262.


Intracranial incidental findings on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain continue to generate interest in healthy control, research, and clinical subjects. However, in clinical practice, the discovery of incidental findings acts as a "distractor". This review is based on existing heterogeneous reports, their clinical implications, and how the results of incidental findings influence clinical management. This draws attention to the followings: (1) the prevalence of clinically significant incidental findings is low; (2) there is a lack of a systematic approach to classification; and discusses (3) how to deal with the detected incidental findings based a proposed common clinical profile. Individualized neurological care requires an active discussion regarding the need for neuroimaging. Clinical significance of incidental findings should be decided based on lesion's neuroradiologic characteristics in the given clinical context. Available evidence suggests that the outcome of an incidentally found "serious lesion in children" is excellent. Future studies of intracranial incidental findings on pediatric brain MRI should be focused on a homogeneous population. The study should address this clinical knowledge based review powered by the statistical analyses.

Keywords: Children; Common clinical profile; Developmental delay; Headache; Intracranial incidental finding; Magnetic resonance imaging; Seizure.

Publication types

  • Review