ACR Appropriateness Criteria®Breast Implant Evaluation

Publication Date


Journal Title

J Am Coll Radiol


© 2018 American College of Radiology Breast implant imaging varies depending on patient age, implant type, and symptoms. For asymptomatic patients (any age, any implant), imaging is not recommended. Rupture of saline implants is often clinically evident, as the saline is resorbed and there is a change in breast contour. With saline implants and equivocal clinical findings, ultrasound (US) is the examination of choice for patients less than 30 years of age, either mammography/digital breast tomosynthesis or US may be used for those 30 to 39 years of age, and mammography/digital breast tomosynthesis is used for those 40 years and older. For patients with suspected silicone implant complication, MRI without contrast or US is used for those less than 30 years of age; MRI without contrast, mammography/digital breast tomosynthesis, or US may be used for those 30 to 39 years of age; and MRI without contrast or mammography/digital breast tomosynthesis is used for those 40 years and older. Patients with unexplained axillary adenopathy and silicone implants (current or prior) are evaluated with axillary US. For patients 30 years and older, mammography/digital breast tomosynthesis is performed in conjunction with US. Last, patients with suspected breast implant–associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma are first evaluated with US, regardless of age or implant type. 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.

Volume Number


Issue Number



S13 - S25

Document Type





School of Medicine

Primary Department






For the public and Northwell Health campuses