Incidental findings in brain imaging research: spotlight on ethical considerations

Eur Radiol. 2022 Oct;32(10):6977-6978. doi: 10.1007/s00330-022-08944-8. Epub 2022 Jun 22.


Brain imaging has revolutionized our ability to characterize brain structure and function. Since the first use of magnetic resonance imaging in a live human subject in 1977, the use of brain imaging in research and clinical medicine has seen exponential growth. Incidental findings (IFs) in brain imaging research have been a subject of contentious debate regarding the disclosure of IFs to human participants of research. In this paper, ethical considerations, as they apply, to IFs in brain imaging research have been discussed. KEY POINTS: • Ethical considerations merit discussion vis a vis disclosure of incidental findings in brain imaging research.

Keywords: Ethics; Health equity; Incidental findings; Neuroimaging; Neuroscience.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research*
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Incidental Findings*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Neuroimaging
  • Qualitative Research
  • Young Adult