Background: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prevalence and clinical significance of incidental cardiac findings in non-ECG-gated chest CT. Patients and methods: Non-ECG-gated chest CT examinations of 300 patients were retrospectively analyzed for incidental cardiac findings. Subsequently, these findings were evaluated for their clinical relevance by a cardiologist. Results: A total of 107 out of 300 examined patients had 174 incidental cardiac findings including coronary calcification (90), aortic/mitral valve calcification (42), iatrogenic changes (23), pericardial effusion (6), dilatation of the heart (4), myocardial changes (3), thrombus in the left ventricle (2), constrictive pericarditis (2) and atrial myxoma (1). Of the cardiac findings 51% were described in the written report and in 53 out of the 107 patients the cardiac findings were unknown. Newly detected incidental findings from 8 patients were rated as clinically significant: pericardial effusion (4), constrictive pericarditis (1), thrombus in the left ventricle (1), atrial myxoma (1) and dilatation of the heart (1). Conclusion: Incidental cardiac findings are frequent in non-ECG-gated chest CT and may have a high clinical relevance.
- Computed tomography
- Incidental findings
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging