ACR Appropriateness Criteria® Intensive Care Unit Patients.
Chest radiography is the most frequent and primary imaging modality in the intensive care unit (ICU), given its portability, rapid image acquisition, and availability of immediate information on the bedside preview. Due to the severity of underlying disease and frequent need of placement of monitoring devices, ICU patients are very likely to develop complications related to underlying disease process and interventions. Portable chest radiography in the ICU is an essential tool to monitor the disease process and the complications from interventions; however, it is subject to overuse especially in stable patients. Restricting the use of chest radiographs in the ICU to only when indicated has not been shown to cause harm. The emerging role of bedside point-of-care lung ultrasound performed by the clinicians is noted in the recent literature. The bedside lung ultrasound appears promising but needs cautious evaluation in the future to determine its role in ICU patients. 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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