Finding an "incidentaloma" presents challenges for doctors and patients alike.
Thanks to advances in medical imaging, cardiologists can now visualize the heart in more detail than ever before. The information can help determine if you need medications or a procedure to reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Sometimes high-tech heart scans enable people to avoid more invasive procedures (see "Heart scanning techniques").
But the use of more advanced cardiac imaging means doctors are also seeing more potentially worrisome abnormalities both within and near the heart. "Sometimes a scan detects an unexpected finding that’s unrelated to the original reason for the test," says cardiologist Dr. Jason H. Wasfy, director of cardiology outcomes research at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital and associate professor at Harvard Medical School.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
About the Author
Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.