ACR Appropriateness Criteria® Plexopathy

Academic Article


  • MRI without and with contrast is the most accurate imaging method to determine whether a process is intrinsic or extrinsic to a nerve of the brachial or lumbosacral plexus. However, there are no Current Procedural Terminology codes to correspond to imaging studies of the brachial or lumbar plexus discretely. This assessment uses “MRI of the brachial plexus” or “MRI of the lumbosacral plexus” as independent entities given that imaging acquisition for the respective plexus differs in sequences and planes compared with those of a routine neck, chest, spine, or pelvic MRI, yet acknowledges the potential variability of ordering practices across institutions. In patients unable to undergo MRI, CT offers the next highest level of anatomic evaluation. In oncologic patients, PET/CT imaging can identify the extent of tumor involvement and be beneficial to differentiate radiation plexitis from tumor recurrence but provides limited resolution of the plexus itself. The American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria are evidence-based guidelines for specific clinical conditions that are reviewed annually by a multidisciplinary expert panel. The guideline development and revision include an extensive analysis of current medical literature from peer-reviewed journals and the application of well-established methodologies (RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation or GRADE) to rate the appropriateness of imaging and treatment procedures for specific clinical scenarios. In those instances where evidence is lacking or equivocal, expert opinion may supplement the available evidence to recommend imaging or treatment.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Bykowski J; Aulino JM; Berger KL; Cassidy RC; Choudhri AF; Kendi AT; Kirsch CFE; Luttrull MD; Sharma A; Shetty VS
  • Start Page

  • S225
  • End Page

  • S233
  • Volume

  • 14
  • Issue

  • 5