ACR Appropriateness Criteria®

During the 1990s, the ACR undertook a massive project to define national guidelines for appropriate use of imaging technologies. The product of this effort is called the ACR Appropriateness Criteria (ACR-AC). The ACR-AC were formally introduced during testimony by K.K. Wallace, MD (then chair of ACR Board of Chancellors) to the House Ways and Means Committee in 1993. Dr. Wallace indicated that the ACR stood ready to define a system of patient care guidelines for radiology to eliminate inappropriate utilization of radiologic services (Cascade 1994). Following appointment of panel chairs in late 1993, the first panelists were selected during early 1994 and by spring, deliberations had begun (Cascade 2000). Twenty years later, the ACR-AC are the most comprehensive evidence-based guidelines for diagnostic imaging selection and indications for image-guided interventional procedures. They embody the best current evidence for choosing appropriate imaging evaluation and interventional procedures for a large number of clinical conditions.

The ACR Appropriateness Criteria® 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. By employing these guidelines, providers enhance quality of care and contribute to the most efficacious use of radiology. The guidelines are developed by expert panels in diagnostic imaging and interventional radiology. Each panel includes leaders in radiology and other specialties.

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