Renal incidental findings on computed tomography: Frequency and distribution in a large non selected cohort

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Renal incidental findings (IFs) are common. However, previous reports investigated renal IFs were limited to patient selection. The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence and distribution of all renal IFs on computed tomography (CT) in a large patient collective.

All patients, who underwent CT investigations of the abdominal region at our institution in the time period between January 2006 and February 2014 were included in this study. Inclusion criteria were as follows: no previous history of renal diseases and well image quality. Patients with known kidney disorders were excluded from the study. Overall, 7365 patients meet the inclusion criteria were identified. There were 2924 (39.7%) women and 4441 men (60.3%) with a mean age of 59.8 ± 16.7 years. All CTs were retrospectively analyzed in consensus by 2 radiologists. Collected data were evaluated by means of descriptive statistics.

Overall, 2756 patients (37.42% of all included patients) showed 3425 different renal IFs (1.24 findings per patient). Of all renal IFs, 123 (3.6%) findings were clinically relevant, 259 (7.6%) were categorized as possibly clinically relevant, and 3043 (88.8%) were clinically non relevant.

Different renal IFs can be detected on CT. The present study provides a real prevalence and proportion of them in daily clinical routine. Kidneys should be thoroughly evaluated because of the fact that incidental renal findings occur frequently.

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