ACR Appropriateness Criteria ® Shoulder Pain-Atraumatic

Expert Panel on Musculoskeletal Imaging

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Shoulder pain is one of the most common reasons for musculoskeletal-related physician visits. Imaging plays an important role in identifying the specific cause of atraumatic shoulder pain. This review is divided into two parts. The first part provides a general discussion of various imaging modalities (radiographs, arthrography, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, CT, and MRI) and their usefulness in evaluating atraumatic shoulder pain. The second part focuses on the most appropriate imaging algorithms for specific shoulder conditions including: rotator cuff disorders, labral tear/instability, bursitis, adhesive capsulitis, biceps tendon abnormalities, postoperative rotator cuff tears, and neurogenic pain. 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S388-S402
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • AUC
  • Appropriate Use Criteria
  • Appropriateness Criteria
  • CT
  • MRI
  • Shoulder
  • Shoulder joint
  • Shoulder pain
  • pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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