JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Incidental Extraspinal Findings in the Thoracic Spine during Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Intervertebral Discs.

Objective: The purpose of this research was to determine the frequency of incidental extraspinal findings in the thoracic spine on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Materials and Methods: A total of 120 thoracic spine MRI patients were prospectively examined in the period extending from August 2018 to April 2019. Both 1.5 and 0.35 Tesla MRI systems (Toshiba and Siemens Medical system) were applied to investigate patients with suspected intervertebral disc abnormalities at three MRI diagnostic centers in Khartoum, Sudan.

Results: Out of the 120 patients, incidental extraspinal findings were found in 16 patients (13.3%). Various incidental findings (IFs) were seen, including renal cysts, liver mass, thyroid goiter, and pleural effusion. Out of these IFs, 37.5% were considered clinically significant.

Conclusions: Various IFs were identified during a routine thoracic spine MRI, and approximately one-third of them were clinically significant. Therefore, it is essential for the reporting radiologists to pay attention to extraspinal findings while reporting thoracic spine MRI to avoid missing clinically significant findings.

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