ACR Appropriateness Criteria® Ataxia-Child

Expert Panel on Pediatric Imaging:

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Childhood ataxia may be due to multifactorial causes of impairment in the coordination of movement and balance. Acutely presenting ataxia in children may be due to infectious, inflammatory, toxic, ischemic, or traumatic etiology. Intermittent or episodic ataxia in children may be manifestations of migraine, benign positional vertigo, or intermittent metabolic disorders. Nonprogressive childhood ataxia suggests a congenital brain malformation or early prenatal or perinatal brain injury, and progressive childhood ataxia indicates inherited causes or acquired posterior fossa lesions that result in gradual cerebellar dysfunction. CT and MRI of the central nervous system are the usual modalities used in imaging children presenting with ataxia, based on the clinical presentation. This document provides initial imaging guidelines for a child presenting with acute ataxia with or without a history of recent trauma, recurrent ataxia with interval normal neurological examination, chronic progressive ataxia, and chronic nonprogressive ataxia. 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 process support the systematic analysis of the medical literature from peer reviewed journals. Established methodology principles such as Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation or GRADE are adapted to evaluate the evidence. The RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method User Manual provides the methodology to determine the appropriateness of imaging and treatment procedures for specific clinical scenarios. In those instances in which peer reviewed literature is lacking or equivocal, experts may be the primary evidentiary source available to formulate a recommendation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S240-S255
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • AUC
  • Appropriate Use Criteria
  • Appropriateness Criteria
  • Ataxia
  • Cerebellum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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