Objective: Currently, there are no consensus guidelines about handling incidental radiological findings on radiotherapy planning CT simulation scans. Retrospective studies analyzing incidental findings on CT simulations show a small, but not insignificant, rate of both oncologic and non-oncologic findings. These findings may have medico-legal, financial, and clinical implications. Given a lack of guidelines, we obtained a formal survey of multiple academic institutions to evaluate how CT simulations are handled in regard to incidental findings. Methods: A formal survey was developed consisting of 12 questions related to institutional practices regarding CT simulation scans. From 7/18/21 to 8/27/21 and 5/6/22 to 5/24/22, the survey was administered electronically by REDCap to key personnel at Academic Radiation Oncology Programs identified through the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) with inclusion criteria including an active ACGME approved Radiation Oncology residency program. Results: In total, 88 academic radiation oncology programs were surveyed with total of 45 responses (51%). 1 out of 45 departments who responded has formal guidelines regarding workup of incidental findings. There is variability about sending CT simulation scans for official radiology review if an incidental finding is identified. Conclusions: Based on a measurable rate of incidental findings on radiotherapy planning CT simulations and their possible implications, our survey illustrates a likely need for consensus recommendations for handling such findings to improve patient care and safety.
- CT simulation
- Incidental radiological findings
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging