American College of Radiology releases new imaging appropriateness criteria

The American College of Radiology released new and updated guidelines on Monday aimed at helping physicians make the most appropriate imaging and treatment decisions.

This Jan. 13 update to ACR’s Appropriateness Criteria includes one new topic—child cerebrovascular disease—along with seven revisions. College leaders noted that this information will prove crucial for radiologists who are entering the educational and operations testing period for the Protecting Access to Medicare Act.

“Now, more than ever, is the time to create consistent behaviors utilizing appropriate use criteria for all patients,” Frank Rybicki, MD, PhD, chairman of the committee that oversees the criteria, said in a statement. “The ACR Appropriateness Criteria is a comprehensive and critical resource that helps providers fulfill the new PAMA requirement and ensure high-quality care.”

All told, the criteria include 190 diagnostic imaging and interventional radiology topics, covering almost 1,700 clinical scenarios. Each incorporates a narrative, evidence table and literature summary, with many also offering patient-friendly summaries. ACR first rolled out this tool in 1993 and has reviewed and updated the guidelines annually.

The latest round of revisions include:

1. Acute Trauma to the Knee 

2. Assessment of Gravid Cervix 

3. Chronic Liver Disease 

4. Hematuria 

5. Seizures and Epilepsy 

6. Suspected Small-Bowel Obstruction 

7. Radiologic Management of Iliofemoral Venous Thrombosis