ACR Appropriateness Criteria® Hernia

Expert Panel on Gastrointestinal Imaging

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abdominopelvic hernias are common clinical entities composed of a wide variety of congenital, traumatic, and iatrogenic etiologies. Any weakness in the body wall may result in hernia of cavity contents with concomitant risks of morbidity and mortality. Presentations may be specific, palpable body wall mass/bulge, or vague, nonspecific pain through bowel obstruction. This document focuses on initial imaging of the adult population with signs of symptoms prompting suspicion of abdominopelvic hernia. Imaging of the abdomen and pelvis to evaluate defects is essential for prompt diagnosis and treatment. Often CT and ultrasound are the first-line modalities to quickly evaluate the abdomen and pelvis, providing for accurate diagnoses and management of patients. MRI protocols may be useful as first-line imaging studies, especially in patients with orthopedic instrumentation. Although often performed, abdominal radiographs and fluorographic procedures may provide indirect evidence of hernias but are usually not indicated for initial diagnosis of hernia. 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S329-S340
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • Abdomen
  • Abdominal wall
  • Appropriate Use Criteria
  • Appropriateness Criteria
  • AUC
  • Defect
  • Groin
  • Hernia
  • Pelvis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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