Evaluation for suspected inflammatory arthritis as a cause for chronic extremity joint pain often relies on imaging. It is essential that imaging results are interpreted in the context of clinical and serologic results to add specificity because there is significant overlap of imaging findings among the various types of arthritis. This document provides recommendations for imaging evaluation of specific types of inflammatory arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis, seronegative spondyloarthropathy, gout, calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate disease (or pseudogout), and erosive osteoarthritis. The ACR Appropriateness Criteria are evidence-based guidelines for specific clinical conditions that are reviewed annually by a multidisciplinary expert panel. The guideline development and revision process support the systematic analysis of the medical literature from peer reviewed journals. Established methodology principles such as Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation or GRADE are adapted to evaluate the evidence. The RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method User Manual provides the methodology to determine the appropriateness of imaging and treatment procedures for specific clinical scenarios. In those instances in which peer reviewed literature is lacking or equivocal, experts may be the primary evidentiary source available to formulate a recommendation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging