About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Incidental Findings on Brain MRI in Children Yield Disclosure Dilemmas for Doctors, Patients

by Kathy Jones on June 14, 2010 at 5:34 PM
Font : A-A+

 Incidental Findings on Brain MRI in Children Yield Disclosure Dilemmas for Doctors, Patients

A research team led by Johns Hopkins Children's Center investigators has said that pediatricians whose patients undergo "routine" brain MRIs need a plan to deal with findings that commonly reveal unexpected-but-benign anomalies that are unlikely to cause any problem.

"Doctors need to figure out what, if anything, they want to share with patients about such findings because they seldom require urgent follow-up," says senior investigator John Strouse, M.D., Ph.D., a hematologist at Hopkins Children's.

Advertisement

In a report published online June 14 in the journal Pediatrics, Strouse and team describe the results of what they believe is the largest study to date of the frequency and type of unexpected brain findings in children who get MRI tests for reasons unrelated to these benign anomalies.

The most common reasons for MRI testing in children are seizures and headaches or as a prerequisite for enrolling in certain studies. The patients in the Hopkins study, all of whom had sickle cell disease and were predominantly African-American, had brain MRIs before enrolling in a research study about their condition. The investigators emphasize that none of the brain anomalies discovered in the study were related to the patients' underlying condition, meaning the findings may apply to healthy children in general.
Advertisement

Of the 953 children, ages 5 to 14, in the study, 63 (6.6 percent) had a total of 68 abnormal brain findings. None of the children required emergency treatment or follow-up, and only six children (0.6 percent) needed urgent follow-ups. The urgent findings involved changes suggestive of slow-growing tumors and a structural defect called Chiari malformation type 1, in which brain tissue extends into the spinal canal. None of the six children with urgent findings had any clinical symptoms suggestive of the anomalies.

Because stumbling upon such unexpected findings — especially ones of unclear clinical importance — can lead to more, often unnecessary, tests and fear, the Hopkins study highlights the need for pediatricians to prepare for such discussions, Strouse says. And in the absence of guidelines on how to deal with such findings, many pediatricians, Strouse adds, feel so unprepared that they may forego the discussion altogether and simply refer the patient to a neurologist or a neurosurgeon for consultation.

"Helpful as it is, imaging technology can open a Pandora's box, sometimes showing us things we didn't expect to see and are not sure how to interpret," says lead investigator Lori Jordan, M.D., Ph.D., a pediatric neurologist at Hopkins Children's.



Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Ways to Manage Stress during COVID-19 Pandemic
Can Adjusting Fatty Acid Intake Improve Mood in Bipolar Disorder Patients?
Insulin Resistance Doubles the Risk of Major Depressive Disorder
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Parkinsons Disease Magnetic Resonance Imaging Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment Height and Weight-Kids Brain Brain Facts Ataxia Hearing Loss Language Areas in The Brain Ways to Improve your Intelligence Quotient (IQ) 

Recommended Reading
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Encyclopedia section of medindia gives general info about Magnetic Resonance Imaging...
Computed Tomography
Computed Tomography (CT) scan is a type of medical examination that uses X-rays and computer ......
Radioisotope Scan
Encyclopedia section of medindia gives general info about Nuclear Medicine...
Ataxia
Ataxia affects coordination. Gait becomes unstable and the patient loses balance. The cerebellum or ...
Language Areas in The Brain
The mechanism of how human brain processes the language to express and comprehend the verbal, writte...
Parkinsons Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease caused by progressive dopamine brain cells loss. ...
Ways to Improve your Intelligence Quotient (IQ)
Intelligence quotient (IQ) is a psychological measure of human intelligence. Regular physical and me...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use