Incidentalomas: concept, relevance and challenges for medical practice

María Ana Mariño


Incidentaloma (which has not been included as a MeSH term neither in other medical databases or Bioportal) is a neologism used to describe an incidentally discovered mass (or abnormality) in asymptomatic persons. Incidentaloma, or incidental finding, is extremely common now and in most cases harmless, but sometimes it is not possible to exclude the possibility of real damage and in very few cases, some people can get benefit from its discovery. Therefore, most of incidentalomas represent overdiagnosis originated by the massive use of high-resolution diagnostic procedures. In many cases, incidentaloma causes anxiety, consume time and resources, and can even cause further damage to patients’ health as a result of procedures performed in the post-finding follow-up. Thus, it is important to recognize the problem to try to avoid it if possible, and learn strategies to deal with it once we stumbled upon an incidentaloma.


Incidentaloma; Incidental Findings; Medicalization; Quaternary Prevention.


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