ACR Appropriateness Criteria® Abnormal Uterine Bleeding

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of the American College of Radiology








Abnormal uterine bleeding; Appropriate Use Criteria; Appropriateness Criteria; AUC; Endometrium; MRI; Sonohysterography; Ultrasound; Uterus


This publication summarizes the relevant literature for the imaging of patients with symptoms of abnormal uterine bleeding, including initial imaging, follow-up imaging when the original ultrasound is inconclusive, and follow-up imaging when surveillance is appropriate. For patients with abnormal uterine bleeding, combined transabdominal and transvaginal ultrasound of the pelvis with Doppler is the most appropriate initial imaging study. If the uterus is incompletely visualized with the initial ultrasou2nd, MRI of the pelvis without and with contrast is the next appropriate imaging study, unless a polyp is suspected on the original ultrasound, then sonohysterography can be performed. If the patient continues to experience abnormal uterine bleeding, assessment with ultrasound of the pelvis, sonohysterography, and MRI of the pelvis without and with contrast would be appropriate. 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.