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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 75-79

Incidental findings on computed tomographic scans in patients with head trauma in Ilorin, Nigeria


1 Department of Radiology, University of Ilorin, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria
2 Department of Neurosurgery, University of Ilorin, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Oyinloye Olalekan Ibukun
Department of Radiology, University of Ilorin, Ilorin
Nigeria
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DOI: 10.4103/1115-1474.134612

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Background/aims: The focus of computed tomography (CT) examination in patients with suspected traumatic brain injury (TBI) is to assess the damage to cranial structures as a result of trauma; however, sometimes findings unrelated to the chief complaint and not pertinent to the immediate patient care are discovered. These findings are classified as "incidental findings." The aim of the study is to determine the prevalence of incidental findings discovered during CT examinations in patients with suspected TBI in our environment. Materials and Methods: A retrospective study of 551 patients with TBI, referred for CT examination at the Radiology Department of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Ilorin from January 2009-2013. Any non-traumatic findings on CT scan or findings that were not related to the chief complaint were considered "incidental findings." Results: Incidental findings were seen in 19 (3.4%) patients, 12 (2.2%) males and 7 (1.2%) females. Enlarged cisterna magna was the commonest finding occurring in 5 (0.9%) patients. Meningiomas were the commonest incidental brain tumor found in 3 (0.54%) patients. Other incidental lesions include lacunar infarcts, arachnoid cyst, neuroglial cyst, and osseous lesions. Conclusion: Clinically serious incidental findings were mainly brain tumors. Visual abnormalities resulting from an incidental suprasellar meningioma may actually predispose to TBI as the patient was found to be responsible for the road traffic accident in which the head injury was sustained. However, larger studies involving many centers may be needed to correlate the role of serious incidental findings vis a vis predisposition to road traffic accidents.


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