American College of Radiology
ACR Appropriateness Criteria®

Radiographically Detected Solitary Pulmonary Nodule

Variant 1: Solid nodule > or = 1 cm, low clinical suspicion for cancer.
Procedure Appropriateness Category SOE Adult RRL Peds RRL Rating Median Final Tabulations
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
CT chest without IV contrast Usually appropriate ☢☢☢ 1-10 mSv ☢☢☢☢ 3-10 mSv [ped] 8 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
FDG-PET/CT whole body Usually appropriate ☢☢☢☢ 10-30 mSv 8 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Image-guided transthoracic needle biopsy Usually appropriate Varies Varies Varies 8 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
CT chest with IV contrast May be appropriate ☢☢☢ 1-10 mSv ☢☢☢☢ 3-10 mSv [ped] 6 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
CT chest without and with IV contrast May be appropriate ☢☢☢ 1-10 mSv ☢☢☢☢ 3-10 mSv [ped] 6 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Watchful waiting with CT follow-up May be appropriate Varies Varies Varies 4 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
MRI chest without IV contrast Usually not appropriate O 0 mSv O 0 mSv [ped] 2 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
MRI chest without and with IV contrast Usually not appropriate O 0 mSv O 0 mSv [ped] 2 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Variant 2: Solid nodule > or = 1 cm, moderate to high clinical suspicion for cancer.
Procedure Appropriateness Category SOE Adult RRL Peds RRL Rating Median Final Tabulations
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
CT chest without IV contrast Usually appropriate ☢☢☢ 1-10 mSv ☢☢☢☢ 3-10 mSv [ped] 8 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
FDG-PET/CT whole body Usually appropriate ☢☢☢☢ 10-30 mSv 8 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Image-guided transthoracic needle biopsy Usually appropriate Varies Varies Varies 8 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
CT chest with IV contrast May be appropriate ☢☢☢ 1-10 mSv ☢☢☢☢ 3-10 mSv [ped] 6 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
CT chest without and with IV contrast May be appropriate ☢☢☢ 1-10 mSv ☢☢☢☢ 3-10 mSv [ped] 6 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Watchful waiting with CT follow-up Usually not appropriate Varies Varies Varies 2 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
MRI chest without IV contrast Usually not appropriate O 0 mSv O 0 mSv [ped] 2 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
MRI chest without and with IV contrast Usually not appropriate O 0 mSv O 0 mSv [ped] 2 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Variant 3: Solid nodule <1 cm, low clinical suspicion for cancer.
Procedure Appropriateness Category SOE Adult RRL Peds RRL Rating Median Final Tabulations
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Watchful waiting with CT follow-up Usually appropriate Varies Varies Varies 8 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
CT chest without IV contrast Usually appropriate ☢☢☢ 1-10 mSv ☢☢☢☢ 3-10 mSv [ped] 7 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
CT chest without and with IV contrast May be appropriate ☢☢☢ 1-10 mSv ☢☢☢☢ 3-10 mSv [ped] 5 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
CT chest with IV contrast Usually not appropriate ☢☢☢ 1-10 mSv ☢☢☢☢ 3-10 mSv [ped] 3 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
FDG-PET/CT whole body Usually not appropriate ☢☢☢☢ 10-30 mSv 3 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Image-guided transthoracic needle biopsy Usually not appropriate Varies Varies Varies 2 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
MRI chest without IV contrast Usually not appropriate O 0 mSv O 0 mSv [ped] 1 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
MRI chest without and with IV contrast Usually not appropriate O 0 mSv O 0 mSv [ped] 2 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Variant 4: Solid nodule <1 cm, moderate to high clinical suspicion for cancer.
Procedure Appropriateness Category SOE Adult RRL Peds RRL Rating Median Final Tabulations
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
CT chest without IV contrast Usually appropriate ☢☢☢ 1-10 mSv ☢☢☢☢ 3-10 mSv [ped] 8 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Image-guided transthoracic needle biopsy May be appropriate Varies Varies Varies 6 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Watchful waiting with CT follow-up May be appropriate Varies Varies Varies 5 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
CT chest without and with IV contrast May be appropriate ☢☢☢ 1-10 mSv ☢☢☢☢ 3-10 mSv [ped] 5 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
CT chest with IV contrast May be appropriate ☢☢☢ 1-10 mSv ☢☢☢☢ 3-10 mSv [ped] 4 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
FDG-PET/CT whole body Usually not appropriate ☢☢☢☢ 10-30 mSv 2 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
MRI chest without IV contrast Usually not appropriate O 0 mSv O 0 mSv [ped] 2 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
MRI chest without and with IV contrast Usually not appropriate O 0 mSv O 0 mSv [ped] 2 n/a 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Appendix Key

A more complete discussion of the items presented below can be found by accessing the supporting documents at the designated hyperlinks.

Appropriateness Category:The panel’s recommendation for a procedure based on the assessment of the risks and benefits of performing the procedure for the specified clinical scenario.

SOE: Strength of Evidence. The assessment of the amount and quality of evidence found in the peer reviewed medical literature for an appropriateness recommendation.

  • References: The citation number and PMID for the reference(s) associated with the recommendation.
  • Study Quality: The assessment of the quality of an individual reference based on the number of study quality elements described in the reference.

RRL: Relative Radiation Level. A population based assessment of the amount of radiation a typical patient may be exposed to during the specified procedure.

Rating: The final rating (1-9 scale) for the procedure as determined by the panel during rating rounds.

Median: The median rating (1-9 scale) for the procedure as determined by the panel during rating rounds.

Final tabulations: A histogram showing the number of panel members who rated the procedure as noted in the column heading (ie, 1, 2, 3, etc.).

Additional supporting documents about the AC methodology and processes can be found at www.acr.org/ac.