1Assistant Professor, Department of Radiology, Neurology Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Ira
2Professor, Department of Neurology, Neurology Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
3Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Afzalipour School of Medicine, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
4Resident, Department of Radiology, Afzalipour School of Medicine, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
Background & Aims: Low back pain is one of the most common problems and a symptom-related reason for visits to a physician, and one of the important causes of disability. It may also impose great costs on the individual and the health system. Most patients with back pain will recover within 4 to 6 weeks. One of the best paraclinical diagnostic methods is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which may result in incidental findings of great importance to the patient. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, all cases in which lumbosacral MRI was performed due to back pain were investigated in terms of incidental findings. Results: The MR images of 854 patients in 2012 were studied. Among these patients, 40.3% (344) were male and 59.7% (510) were female. Mean age of patients was 43.05 years with median of 42 years. The incidental findings were observed in 29.7% (254) of cases who had no clinical symptoms and were not investigated by the physician. Abnormal incidental findings were observed in 9.5% (81) of male and 20.2% (173) of female patients; this difference was significant (P = 0.001). The prevalence of incidental findings was significantly higher in men of above 42 years of age (P = 0.001), but this difference was not significant in female patients (P = 0.513). In total, the prevalence of incidental findings was higher in ages above 42 (P = 0.004). The most prevalent incidental findings were, respectively, renal cysts (11.5%), retroflection of uterus (5.7%), and ovarian cyst (4.3%). Life threatening findings were aortic disorders (n=11, 11.3 %) and important lesions (n=28, 3.3%) requiring investigation. Conclusion: Incidental findings in MRI are important and since they might be the origin of pain or health threatening, require further evaluation.