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American College of Radiology Releases New and Updated ACR Appropriateness Criteria

By MedImaging International staff writers
Posted on 10 Oct 2022

The American College of Radiology (ACR, Reston, VA, USA) has released an update to its ACR Appropriateness Criteria (ACR AC), which includes 222 diagnostic imaging and interventional radiology topics with 1,050 clinical variants covering approximately 3,000 clinical scenarios. This update includes one new and eight revised topics. All topics include a narrative, evidence table and a literature search summary. Patient-friendly summaries, a tool to help patients understand what tests are appropriate for their situation and enhance communication from ordering physicians and radiologists, are available for numerous topics.

The ACR AC was first introduced in 1993 by expert panels in diagnostic imaging and interventional radiology to help providers make the most appropriate imaging or treatment decisions for specific clinical conditions. The ACR AC are evidence-based guidelines to assist referring physicians and other providers in making the most appropriate imaging or treatment decision for a specific clinical condition. Currently, the ACR AC are the most comprehensive evidence based guidelines for diagnostic imaging selection, radiotherapy protocols, and image guided interventional procedures. By employing these guidelines, providers enhance quality of care and contribute to the most efficacious use of radiology.


Image: The ACR AC assists physicians in making the most appropriate imaging or treatment decisions (Photo courtesy of ACR)
Image: The ACR AC assists physicians in making the most appropriate imaging or treatment decisions (Photo courtesy of ACR)

The guidelines are developed and reviewed annually by expert panels in diagnostic imaging and interventional radiology. Each panel includes leaders in radiology and other specialties. In 2022, there are 222 Diagnostic Imaging and Interventional Radiology topics with over 1050 variants and for our Diagnostic Imaging topics 3000 clinical scenarios. The ACR allows individuals to use the ACR AC for research, scientific, and/or informational purposes only.

“The use of ACR Appropriateness Criteria for guidance can enable consistent medical imaging and interventional radiology care for all patients,” said Mark E. Lockhart, MD, MPH, Chair of the ACR Committee on Appropriateness Criteria. “By applying the information in these documents, providers can enhance and maintain quality of care and contribute to the most effective use of these lifesaving and life-improving exams and procedures.”

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