ACR Appropriateness Criteria® Dyspnea-Suspected Cardiac Origin (Ischemia Already Excluded): 2021 Update

Expert Panel on Cardiac Imaging:

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dyspnea is the symptom of perceived breathing discomfort and is commonly encountered in a variety of clinical settings. Cardiac etiologies of dyspnea are an important consideration; among these, valvular heart disease (Variant 1), arrhythmia (Variant 2), and pericardial disease (Variant 3) are reviewed in this document. Imaging plays an important role in the clinical assessment of these suspected abnormalities, with usually appropriate procedures including resting transthoracic echocardiography in all three variants, radiography for Variants 1 and 3, MRI heart function and morphology in Variants 2 and 3, and CT heart function and morphology with intravenous contrast for Variant 3. 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)S37-S52
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022


  • Appropriate Use Criteria
  • Appropriateness Criteria
  • Arrhythmia
  • AUC
  • Cardiac
  • Dyspnea
  • Imaging
  • Pericardium
  • Valvular heart disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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