ACR Appropriateness Criteria® Management of Vertebral Compression Fractures: 2022 Update

Expert Panels on Neurological Imaging, Interventional Radiology, and Musculoskeletal Imaging:, Jack W. Jennings, Jonathan C. Baker, Matthew S. Parsons, Naga M. Yalla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) can have a variety of etiologies, including trauma, osteoporosis, or neoplastic infiltration. Osteoporosis related fractures are the most common cause of VCFs and have a high prevalence among all postmenopausal women with increasing incidence in similarly aged men. Trauma is the most common etiology in those >50 years of age. However, many cancers, such as breast, prostate, thyroid, and lung, have a propensity to metastasize to bone, which can lead to malignant VCFs. Indeed, the spine is third most common site of metastases after lung and liver. In addition, primary tumors of bone and lymphoproliferative diseases such as lymphoma and multiple myeloma can be the cause of malignant VCFs. Although patient clinical history could help raising suspicion for a particular disorder, the characterization of VCFs is usually referred to diagnostic imaging. 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 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 in which evidence is lacking or equivocal, expert opinion may supplement the available evidence to recommend imaging or treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S102-S124
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023


  • AUC
  • Appropriate Use Criteria
  • Appropriateness Criteria
  • CT
  • MRI
  • malignancy
  • osteoporosis
  • vertebral compression fracture (VCFs)


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