ACR Appropriateness Criteria® Methodology

Academic Article


  • The ACR Appropriateness Criteria┬« (AC) are evidence-based guidelines that guide physicians on appropriate image ordering. The AC development and revision process follows a transparent methodology that includes the systematic analysis of current medical literature from peer-reviewed journals and the application of well-established guidelines standards (the Institute of Medicine's Clinical Practice Guidelines We Can Trust) and methodologies (the RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) to rate the benefits and potential risks, or appropriateness, of imaging and treatment procedures for specific clinical scenarios. In the October 2020 release, the methodology is applied in the development of 198 AC documents covering 1,760 clinical scenarios to make more than 8,815 recommendations, authored by more than 600 members representing multiple expert societies, and using more than 6,200 references. The ACR is recognized as a qualified provider-led entity by CMS for the development of appropriate use criteria. This paper describes the methodology and illustrates adherence to the process in the development of the AC.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kurth DA; Karmazyn BK; Waldrip CA; Chatfield M; Lockhart ME
  • Start Page

  • S240
  • End Page

  • S250
  • Volume

  • 18
  • Issue

  • 11