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imaging guidelines for developing countries

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imaging guidelines for developing countries

Posted by Richard Mendelson at April 19. 2016


There are several suites of existing imaging guidelines designed to aid referring clinicians in the appropriate choice of imaging in a variety of clinical scenarios – or, indeed to advise that no imaging is necessary in a particular circumstance.

These tools include the American College of Radiologists Appropriateness Criteria, the UK Royal College of Radiologists i-Refer, and our own Western Australian ‘Diagnostic Imaging Pathways’ (

It is fair to say that while there may be some applicability of these guidelines to the developing world, they primarily address themselves to health systems where advanced imaging is relatively easy to access. This was recognised by the World Health Organisation. That organisation, in collaboration with the International Radiology Quality Network (IRQN), initiated a project to globally promote the use of evidence-based referral guidelines for appropriate use of diagnostic imaging – a project that was planned to encompass imaging recommendations for health systems in the developing world. I’m not sure what the current status of this initiative is (I was only peripherally involved), but I have requested further information. I suspect that it may have stalled, in which case it may be time to consider adapting one of the existing suites of guidelines to this target audience.

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