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Do Pineal Cysts Need Regular Follow-Ups?

December 16, 2009
Written by: , Filed in: Neuroradiology
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Follow-up MRI on pineal cysts may not be worth it, says a small study recently published in the American Journal of Roentgenology. Because the usually-benign cysts can sometimes mimic other kinds of tumors, regular follow-ups with MRI have been traditionally recommended. To see how such tests performed, researchers in Massachusetts and Vermont looked at incidental pineal cysts found in 26 patients over 10 years. Results found that all the lesions remained stable over time. Given that there were no significant changes, the study authors suggest that follow-ups on pineal cysts be done clinically rather than with MRI.

While the study has some limitations, the researchers make a valid point about unneccessary imaging, says Yaron Lebovitz, MD, who reviewed the study.  “As the pressure mounts to reduce health care costs, such traditions without a reliable foundation need to be reassessed with studies such as this one,” Lebovitz said.

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