Appropriate use criteria in dermatopathology: Initial recommendations from the American Society of Dermatopathology

Task Force/Committee Members, Rating Panel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: Appropriate use criteria (AUC) provide physicians guidance in test selection, and can affect health care delivery, reimbursement policy, and physician decision-making. Objectives: The American Society of Dermatopathology, with input from the American Academy of Dermatology and the College of American Pathologists, sought to develop AUC in dermatopathology. Methods: The RAND/UCLA appropriateness methodology, which combines evidence-based medicine, clinical experience, and expert judgment, was used to develop AUC in dermatopathology. Results: With the number of ratings predetermined at 3, AUC were developed for 211 clinical scenarios involving 12 ancillary studies. Consensus was reached for 188 (89%) clinical scenarios, with 93 (44%) considered “usually appropriate” and 52 (25%) “rarely appropriate” and 43 (20%) having “uncertain appropriateness.” Limitations: The methodology requires a focus on appropriateness without comparison between tests and irrespective of cost. Conclusions: The ultimate decision to order specific tests rests with the physician and is one where the expected benefit exceeds the negative consequences. This publication outlines the recommendations of appropriateness—the AUC for 12 tests used in dermatopathology. Importantly, these recommendations may change considering new evidence. Results deemed “uncertain appropriateness” and where consensus was not reached may benefit from further research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-207.e11
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • ancillary studies
  • appropriate use criteria
  • dermatopathology
  • evidence-based medicine
  • expert rating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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