Radiology Group Issues Updated Cancer Scan Standards

Tony Berberabe, MPH @OncBiz_Wiz
Published: Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013

The American College of Radiology (ACR) has issued new and updated evidence-based guidelines to assist oncologists when ordering exams and ensure that patients get the correct scan or therapy for the right indication. The guidelines, called the ACR Appropriateness Criteria, provide updates for 29 appropriateness criteria topics and added 12 new criteria.

The guidelines specific to oncology include: “Choosing the most appropriate radiation therapy strategy is critical to the effective and safe treatment of many cancer patients. Use of ACR Appropriateness Criteria can guide physicians in doing so by providing the latest evidence-based approach for a wide variety of radiotherapy issues, such as the appropriate radiation dose, technique, volume, etc.,” said Benjamin Movsas, MD, FACR, chair of the American College of Radiology Committee on Radiation Oncology Appropriateness Criteria.

The guidelines were developed by expert panels in diagnostic imaging, interventional radiology, and radiation oncology. Each panel included leaders in radiology and other specialties. There are 197 topics with over 900 variants in the newest version.

“ACR Appropriateness Criteria are the most comprehensive evidence-based guidelines available for selection of the best diagnostic imaging and image-guided interventional procedures for specific clinical needs. They can also help reduce unnecessary patient and population exposure to radiation, a growing concern of many Americans, by making sure that procedures that use radiation are only used when indicated. Every provider should take the opportunity to familiarize themselves with these guidelines before making a diagnostic imaging or image-guided interventional treatment decision,” said E. Kent Yucel, MD, FACR, chair of the American College of Radiology Committee on Diagnostic Imaging and Interventional Radiology Appropriateness Criteria.

A complete list of new criteria is available on the ACR website. In addition to the oncology criteria, the updates cover topics such as managing the asymptomatic patient at risk for coronary artery disease, acute hip pain—suspected fracture, and blunt chest trauma. ACR says the criteria have also helped improve quality, reduce unnecessary exams and lower costs.

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