ACR Appropriateness Criteria® Major Blunt Trauma

Expert Panel on Major Trauma Imaging

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This review assesses the appropriateness of various imaging studies for adult major blunt trauma or polytrauma in the acute setting. Trauma is the leading cause of mortality for people in the United States <45 years of age, and the fourth leading cause of death overall. Imaging, in particular CT, plays a critical role in the management of these patients, and a number of indications are discussed in this publication, including patients who are hemodynamically stable or unstable; patients with additional injuries to the face, extremities, chest, bowel, or urinary system; and pregnant patients. Excluded from consideration in this review are penetrating traumatic injuries, burns, and injuries to pediatric patients. Patients with suspected injury to the head and spine are also discussed more specifically in other appropriateness criteria documents. 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)S160-S174
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2020


  • AUC
  • Appropriate Use Criteria
  • Appropriateness Criteria
  • Blunt trauma
  • Major trauma
  • Polytrauma
  • Whole-body CT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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