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Incidental test findings and the burden they create

from MedPage Today

Cascades of testing and treatment, triggered by incidental findings on diagnostic tests, are commonplace in medical practice and cause harm to patients and physicians alike, a survey showed. Nearly all 376 respondents reported experiencing cascades (99.4%) in a survey sent to member doctors of the American College of Physicians this year, reported Ishani Ganguli, MD, MPH, of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues in JAMA Network Open. "Most physicians reported that incidental findings frequently prompted telephone calls with patients and repeated tests; most physicians had also seen their patients undergo new invasive tests, emergency department visits, and hospitalizations after an incidental finding," the authors found. more


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