In recent years, the utilization of diagnostic imaging of the brain and spine in children has increased dramatically, leading to a corresponding increase in the detection of incidental findings of the central nervous system. Patients with unexpected findings on imaging are often referred for subspecialty evaluation. Even with rational use of diagnostic imaging and subspecialty consultation, the diagnostic process will always generate unexpected findings that must be explained and managed.

Familiarity with the most common findings that are discovered incidentally on diagnostic imaging of the brain and spine will assist the pediatrician in providing counseling to families and in making recommendations in conjunction with a neurosurgeon, when needed, regarding additional treatments and prognosis.

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