ACR Appropriateness Criteria ® Radiologic Management of Biliary Obstruction

Expert Panel on Interventional Radiology:

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Biliary obstruction is a serious condition that can occur in the setting of both benign and malignant pathologies. In the setting of acute cholangitis, biliary decompression can be lifesaving; for patients with cancer who are receiving chemotherapy, untreated obstructive jaundice may lead to biochemical derangements that often preclude continuation of therapy unless biliary decompression is performed (see the ACR Appropriateness Criteria® topic on “Jaundice”). Recommended therapy including percutaneous decompression, endoscopic decompression, and/or surgical decompression is based on the etiology of the obstruction and patient factors including the individual's anatomy. 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S196-S213
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019


  • AUC
  • Appropriate Use Criteria
  • Appropriateness Criteria
  • Benign
  • Biliary
  • Endoscopic
  • Malignant
  • Obstruction
  • Percutaneous

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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