Background and Objectives: Multi-detector CT (MDCT) is becoming more commonly used as a diagnostic tool for various cardiac diseases, and this modality can also incidentally detect a significant number of non-cardiac findings during cardiac work-ups. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the incidence of non-cardiac findings during cardiac MDCT and to compare them with chest CT. Subjects and Methods: We enrolled 1,007 consecutive subjects (mean age: 49 ± 10 years, males: 63%) who underwent both cardiac and chest CT (64-slice MDCT) as a part of a routine health check-up. The subjects were evaluated for the incidence of non-cardiac findings and the therapeutic consequences according to the CT protocols during the mid-term follow-up (average length of mid-term follow-up: 533 ± 39 days). Results: Eight hundred sixty incidental non-cardiac findings were identified in 627 patients (62%) with cardiac CT. Forty-three subjects (4%) had clinically significant lesions that required additional diagnostic work-up or radiological follow-up, and these lesions were 23 cases of non-calcified nodule, 2 cases of ground glass opacity, 6 cases of pneumonia, 1 case of active tuberculosis, 2 cases of focal bronchiolitis, 3 cases of arterial lesion, 1 case of liver cirrhosis and 5 cases of extra-pulmonary masses. Five subjects (0.5%), including 2 cases (0.2%) of malignancy, had therapeutic consequences during their follow-up. Compared with chest CT, 68% (40/59) of the significant intrathoracic lesions and 67% (4/6) of the intrathoracic lesions with therapeutic consequences were documented by cardiac CT. Conclusion: In the present study, 4% of the asymptomatic patients who underwent cardiac MDCT were found to have significant non-cardiac findings that required further work-up. To avoid missing a number of clinically important findings, physicians who analyze cardiac MDCT scans should carefully evaluate not only the heart, but all the other organs that are within the scan range.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine