ACR Neck Imaging Reporting and Data Systems (NI-RADS): A White Paper of the ACR NI-RADS Committee

Ashley H. Aiken, Tanya J. Rath, Yoshimi Anzai, Barton F. Branstetter, Jenny K. Hoang, Richard H. Wiggins, Amy F. Juliano, Christine Glastonbury, C. Douglas Phillips, Richard Brown, Patricia A. Hudgins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Imaging surveillance after treatment for head and neck cancer is challenging because of complicated resection and reconstruction surgery, in addition to posttreatment changes from radiation and chemotherapy. The posttreatment neck is often a source of anxiety for diagnostic radiologists, leading to suboptimal reporting and no standardized guidance for next management steps. Nevertheless, imaging is critical for detecting submucosal recurrences in a timely manner, so that patients remain candidates for salvage surgery. In 2016, the ACR convened the Neck Imaging Reporting and Data Systems (NI-RADS) Committee with the goals to (1) provide recommendations for surveillance imaging; (2) produce a lexicon to distinguish between benign posttreatment change and residual or recurrent tumor in the posttreatment neck; and (3) propose a NI-RADS template for reporting on the basis of this lexicon with defined levels of suspicion and management recommendations. In this article, the authors present the ACR NI-RADS Committee's recommendations, which provide guidance regarding the management of patients after treatment for head and neck cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1097-1108
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Neck Imaging Reporting and Data Systems
  • head and neck cancer
  • structured reporting
  • surveillance
  • templates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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