ACR Appropriateness Criteria® Osteomyelitis or Septic Arthritis-Child (Excluding Axial Skeleton).


Imaging plays an integral role in the evaluation of suspected musculoskeletal infections in children, not only in the accurate identification of infection such as osteomyelitis or septic arthritis, but also in guiding management. Various diagnostic modalities serve different purposes in the assessment of suspected pediatric musculoskeletal infections. The purpose of this document is to provide imaging guidance in the most frequently encountered clinical scenarios in which osteomyelitis and/or septic arthritis are suspected, outside of the axial skeleton. 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.