October 01, 2019

American College of Radiology Releases New and Updated ACR Appropriateness Criteria

Evidence-based guidelines cover several new and revised topics to assist referring physicians and other providers in making the most appropriate imaging or treatment decisions

The American College of Radiology (ACR) today released an update to the ACR Appropriateness Criteria®, which includes 189 diagnostic imaging and interventional radiology topics with 929 clinical variants covering more than 1,680 clinical scenarios. This update includes four new and fifteen revised topics. All topics have a narrative, an evidence table and a literature search summary. An appendix that includes a strength of evidence assessment for each of the recommendations and additional details about the rating round tabulations is also available for new and revised topics in this release.

“As we approach Jan. 1, 2020 – when the Protecting Access to Medicare Act’s requirements that referring providers consult appropriate use criteria prior to ordering advanced diagnostic imaging services takes effect – these evidence-based guidelines are especially critical to ensuring our patients get the right care for their medical conditions and avoid unnecessary care,” said Frank J. Rybicki, MD, PhD, FACR, chair of the ACR Committee on Appropriateness Criteria.

The new topics in today’s release are: 

1. Major Blunt Trauma
2. Pancreatic Cyst
3. Pneumonia in the Immunocompetent Child
4. Suspected Placenta Accreta Spectrum Disorder

Recently revised topics include:

1. Acute Trauma to the Foot
2. Chest Pain – Possible Acute Coronary Syndrome
3. Crohn’s Disease
4. Dementia
5. Female Infertility
6. Head Trauma – Child
7. Hemoptysis
8. Movement Disorder and Neurodegenerative Diseases
9. Occupational Lung Diseases
10. Primary Bone Tumors
11. Suspected Upper-Extremity Deep Vein Thrombosis
12. Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
13. Radiologic Management of Gastric Varices
14. Radiologic Management of Infected Fluid Collections
15. Radiology Management of Urinary Tract Obstruction

The ACR Appropriateness Criteria was first introduced in 1993 and provides the most comprehensive evidence based guidelines for diagnostic imaging selection and image guided interventional procedures. The guidelines are created and updated by an expert panel of radiologists and multispecialty teams.

Medical providers may consult the ACR Appropriateness Criteria to fulfill Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) requirements that they consult AUC prior to ordering advanced diagnostic imaging for Medicare patients. The ACR is designated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as a qualified Provider-Led Entity.

For more information about ACR Appropriateness Criteria, visit the ACR website.

To arrange an interview with any ACR member, contact Meghan Swope at 703-390-9822 or PR@acr.org.


About the American College of Radiology
The American College of Radiology is a membership organization of nearly 40,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists and medical physicists dedicated to serving patients and society by empowering radiology professionals to advance the practice, science and professions of radiological care.