Michigan radiologist warns about ‘incidental findings’ in full body MRI scans

Published: Oct. 3, 2023 at 10:28 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - A growing number of companies, with the help of celebrity spokespeople, have touted the benefits of whole-body MRI scans as a preventative health measure.

Reports show approximately 20 to 40% of adult patients undergoing advanced imaging like whole body MRIs will find something on their scans not related to any symptoms or risk factor.

A radiologist from the University of Michigan Health said the incidental findings might seem like a good thing but can often cause unintended harm to a patient.

”Because there’s uncertainty about that finding that we’ve seen, it often results in many additional imaging tests, sometimes additional biopsies, sometimes operations, and those extra interventions that are being done, even if we ignore the cost side, which ends up being substantial, the harm side to the patient, either in terms of emotional harm or psychological anxiety-driven harm, or from actual physical harm if someone’s putting a needle into you to biopsy something or performing an operation which can have its own set of consequences,” said Radiologist Matthew Davenport.

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