ACR Appropriateness Criteria® Adrenal Mass Evaluation: 2021 Update

Expert Panel on Urological Imaging

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The appropriate evaluation of adrenal masses is strongly dependent on the clinical circumstances in which it is discovered. Adrenal incidentalomas are masses that are discovered on imaging studies that have been obtained for purposes other than adrenal disease. Although the vast majority of adrenal incidentalomas are benign, further radiological and biochemical evaluation of these lesions is important to arrive at a specific diagnosis. Patients with a history of malignancy or symptoms of excess hormone require different imaging evaluations than patients with incidentalomas. This document reviews imaging approaches to adrenal masses and the various modalities utilized in evaluation of adrenal lesions. 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)S251-S267
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • AUC
  • Adrenal
  • Adrenal adenoma
  • Adrenal cortical carcinoma
  • Adrenal incidentaloma
  • Appropriate Use Criteria
  • Appropriateness Criteria
  • Incidental adrenal nodule

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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