Imaging is an integral component of the evaluation of patients with a suspected soft-tissue mass. Imaging can not only confirm the presence of a mass but can provide essential information necessary for diagnosis, local staging, and biopsy planning. Although the objectives of the evaluation have not changed, the choices available for imaging of musculoskeletal masses have evolved dramatically in recent years. The purpose of this document is to identify the most common clinical scenarios and the most appropriate imaging for their assessment on the basis of the current literature and to provide general guidance for those scenarios that are not specifically addressed. 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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging