ACR Appropriateness Criteria ® Chronic Wrist Pain.
Radiographs are indicated as the first imaging test in all patients with chronic wrist pain, regardless of the suspected diagnosis. When radiographs are normal or equivocal, advanced imaging with MRI (without or without intravenous contrast or following arthrography), CT (usually without contrast), and ultrasound each has a role in establishing a diagnosis. Furthermore, these examinations may contribute to staging disease, treatment planning, and prognostication, even when radiographs are diagnostic of a specific condition. Which examination or examinations are best depends on the specific location of pain and the clinically suspected conditions. 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.
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