ACR Appropriateness Criteria Clinically Suspected Pulmonary Arteriovenous Malformation.
Pulmonary arteriovenous malformations are often included in the differential diagnosis of common clinical presentations, including hypoxemia, hemoptysis, brain abscesses, and paradoxical stroke, as well as affecting 30% to 50% of patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT). Various imaging studies are used in the diagnostic and screening settings, which have been reviewed by the ACR Appropriateness Criteria Vascular Imaging Panel. Pulmonary arteriovenous malformation screening in patients with HHT is commonly performed with transthoracic echocardiographic bubble study, followed by CT for positive cases. Although transthoracic echocardiographic bubble studies and radionuclide perfusion detect right-to-left shunts, they do not provide all of the information needed for treatment planning and may remain positive after embolization. Pulmonary angiography is appropriate for preintervention planning but not as an initial test. MR angiography has a potential role in younger patients with HHT who may require lifelong surveillance, despite lower spatial resolution compared with CT. The ACR Appropriateness Criteria are evidence-based guidelines for specific clinical conditions that are reviewed every three years by a multidisciplinary expert panel. The guideline development and review include an extensive analysis of current medical literature from peer-reviewed journals and the application of a well-established consensus methodology (modified Delphi) to rate the appropriateness of imaging and treatment procedures by the panel. In those instances in which evidence is lacking or not definitive, expert opinion may be used to recommend imaging or treatment.
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