Research Integrity Office
Categories of Research That May Be Reviewed by the Institutional Review Board (IRB)
through an Expedited Review Procedure1
- Research activities that
- present no more than minimal risk to human subjects, and
- involve only procedures listed in one or more of the following categories, may be
reviewed by the IRB through the expedited review procedure authorized by 45 CFR 46.110 and 21 CFR 56.110. The activities listed should not be deemed to be of minimal risk
simply because they are included on this list. Inclusion on this list merely means
that the activity is eligible for review through the expedited review procedure when
the specific circumstances of the proposed research involve no more than minimal risk
to human subjects.
- The categories in this list apply regardless of the age of subjects, except as noted.
- The expedited review procedure may not be used where identification of the subjects
and/or their responses would reasonably place them at risk of criminal or civil liability
or be damaging to the subjects' financial standing, employability, insurability, reputation,
or be stigmatizing, unless reasonable and appropriate protections will be implemented
so that risks related to invasion of privacy and breach of confidentiality are no
greater than minimal.
- The expedited review procedure may not be used for classified research involving human
- IRBs are reminded that the standard requirements for informed consent (or its waiver,
alteration, or exception) apply regardless of the type of review--expedited or convened--utilized
by the IRB.
- Categories one (1) through seven (7) pertain to both initial and continuing IRB review.
- Clinical studies of drugs and medical devices only when condition (a) or (b) is met.
- Research on drugs for which an investigational new drug application (21 CFR Part 312)
is not required. (Note: Research on marketed drugs that significantly increases the
risks or decreases the acceptability of the risks associated with the use of the product
is not eligible for expedited review.)
- Research on medical devices for which
- an investigational device exemption application (21 CFR Part 812) is not required;
- the medical device is cleared/approved for marketing and the medical device is being
used in accordance with its cleared/approved labeling.
- Collection of blood samples by finger stick, heel stick, ear stick, or venipuncture
- from healthy, nonpregnant adults who weigh at least 110 pounds. For these subjects,
the amounts drawn may not exceed 550 ml in an 8 week period and collection may not
occur more frequently than 2 times per week; or
- from other adults and children, considering the age, weight, and health of the subjects,
the collection procedure, the amount of blood to be collected, and the frequency with
which it will be collected. For these subjects, the amount drawn may not exceed the
lesser of 50 ml or 3 ml per kg in an 8 week period and collection may not occur more
frequently than 2 times per week.
- Prospective collection of biological specimens for research purposes by noninvasive
- hair and nail clippings in a nondisfiguring manner;
- deciduous teeth at time of exfoliation or if routine patient care indicates a need
- permanent teeth if routine patient care indicates a need for extraction;
- excreta and external secretions (including sweat);
- uncannulated saliva collected either in an unstimulated fashion or stimulated by chewing
gumbase or wax or by applying a dilute citric solution to the tongue;
- placenta removed at delivery;
- amniotic fluid obtained at the time of rupture of the membrane prior to or during
- supra- and subgingival dental plaque and calculus, provided the collection procedure
is not more invasive than routine prophylactic scaling of the teeth and the process
is accomplished in accordance with accepted prophylactic techniques;
- mucosal and skin cells collected by buccal scraping or swab, skin swab, or mouth washings;
- sputum collected after saline mist nebulization.
- Collection of data through noninvasive procedures (not involving general anesthesia
or sedation) routinely employed in clinical practice, excluding procedures involving
x-rays or microwaves. Where medical devices are employed, they must be cleared/approved
for marketing. (Studies intended to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the medical
device are not generally eligible for expedited review, including studies of cleared
medical devices for new indications.)
- physical sensors that are applied either to the surface of the body or at a distance
and do not involve input of significant amounts of energy into the subject or an invasion
of the subject's privacy;
- weighing or testing sensory acuity;
- magnetic resonance imaging;
- electrocardiography, electroencephalography, thermography, detection of naturally
occurring radioactivity, electroretinography, ultrasound, diagnostic infrared imaging,
doppler blood flow, and echocardiography;
- moderate exercise, muscular strength testing, body composition assessment, and flexibility
testing where appropriate given the age, weight, and health of the individual.
- Research involving materials (data, documents, records, or specimens) that have been
collected, or will be collected solely for nonresearch purposes (such as medical treatment
or diagnosis). (NOTE: Some research in this category may be exempt from the HHS regulations
for the protection of human subjects. 45 CFR 46.101(b)(4). This listing refers only to research that is not exempt.)
- Collection of data from voice, video, digital, or image recordings made for research
- Research on individual or group characteristics or behavior (including, but not limited
to, research on perception, cognition, motivation, identity, language, communication,
cultural beliefs or practices, and social behavior) or research employing survey,
interview, oral history, focus group, program evaluation, human factors evaluation,
or quality assurance methodologies. (NOTE: Some research in this category may be exempt
from the HHS regulations for the protection of human subjects. 45 CFR 46.101(b)(2) and (b)(3). This listing refers only to research that is not exempt.)
- Continuing review of research previously approved by the convened IRB as follows:
- the research is permanently closed to the enrollment of new subjects;
- all subjects have completed all research-related interventions; and (iii) the research
remains active only for long-term follow-up of subjects; or
- where no subjects have been enrolled and no additional risks have been identified;
- where the remaining research activities are limited to data analysis.
- Continuing review of research, not conducted under an investigational new drug application
or investigational device exemption where categories two (2) through eight (8) do
not apply but the IRB has determined and documented at a convened meeting that the
research involves no greater than minimal risk and no additional risks have been identified.
1 An expedited review procedure consists of a review of research involving human subjects
by the IRB chairperson or by one or more experienced reviewers designated by the chairperson
from among members of the IRB in accordance with the requirements set forth in 45 CFR 46.110.
2 Children are defined in the HHS regulations as &persons who have not attained the
legal age for consent to treatments or procedures involved in the research, under
the applicable law of the jurisdiction in which the research will be conducted.& 45 CFR 46.402(a).
Source: 63 FR 60364-60367, November 9, 1998.