ACR Appropriateness Criteria® Clinically Suspected Vascular Malformation of the Extremities

Academic Article


  • Vascular malformations of the extremities represent a wide spectrum of lesions, broadly divided into high-flow and low-flow categories. High-flow lesions include arteriovenous malformations and arteriovenous fistulas, while the more common low-flow lesions consist of venous and lymphatic malformations. The clinical presentation of vascular malformations is variable and can include extremity pain, discoloration, focal mass, or diffuse extremity enlargement. A vascular murmur can also be present and is more typical of high-flow lesions. While vascular malformations can often be diagnosed or strongly suspected by clinical features alone, imaging is often used to confirm the diagnosis, determine lesion characteristics and extent, and/or plan for treatment. Among the imaging options available, those usually appropriate for initial imaging of suspected vascular malformation are MR angiography without and with intravenous contrast, MRI without and with intravenous contrast, CT angiography with intravenous contrast, or US duplex Doppler. 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.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Obara P; McCool J; Kalva SP; Majdalany BS; Collins JD; Eldrup-Jorgensen J; Ganguli S; Gunn AJ; Kendi AT; Khaja MS
  • Start Page

  • S340
  • End Page

  • S347
  • Volume

  • 16
  • Issue

  • 11