Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Incidental Findings Common in Stroke Patients

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis; ePub 2018 Aug 2; Doyle, et al

Incidental findings are commonly found in patients undergoing an evaluation for acute ischemic stroke, some of which may be clinically relevant, a recent study found. Therefore, vascular neurologists and other clinicians caring for stroke patients may benefit from guidance on the management of expected incidental findings. A random sample of 200 acute ischemic stroke admissions at an academic medical center was reviewed to better understand the incidence and spectrum of incidental findings on radiographic imaging studies obtained for a stroke evaluation. Researchers found:

  • Among total stroke patients, 53 (26.5%) were found to have ≥1 incidental finding on radiographic imaging.
  • From 651 imaging studies, 69 incidental findings were uncovered, or 11 incidental findings per 100 imaging studies.
  • Incidental findings were most commonly discovered within computerized tomography angiograms of the head and neck (n=41 from of 176 studies).
  • The most commonly identified incidental findings included thyroid nodules (n=12), sinus disease (n=11), pulmonary nodules (n=10), and intracranial/cervical artery aneurysms (n=5).


Doyle SJ, George BP, Holloway RG, Kelly AG. Incidental findings in radiographic imaging for inpatients with acute ischemic stroke. [Published online ahead of print August 2, 2018]. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. doi:10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2018.07.003.

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