21 Mar 08

ACC issues appropriateness criteria for stress echo

Posted in Coronary artery disease, Echocardiography at 21:34 by Laci

By PS Douglas et al.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2008; 51:1127-1147

The American College of Cardiology Foundation (ACCF) and the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) together with key specialty and subspecialty societies, conducted an appropriateness review for stress echocardiography. The review assessed the risks and benefits of stress echocardiography for several indications or clinical scenarios and scored them on a scale of 1 to 9 (based upon methodology developed by the ACCF to assess imaging appropriateness). The upper range (7 to 9) implies that the test is generally acceptable and is a reasonable approach, and the lower range (1 to 3) implies that the test is generally not acceptable and is not a reasonable approach. The midrange (4 to 6) indicates a clinical scenario for which the indication for a stress echocardiogram is uncertain.

The indications for this review were drawn from common applications or anticipated uses, as well as from current clinical practice guidelines. Use of stress echocardiography for risk assessment in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) was viewed favorably, while routine repeat testing and general screening in certain clinical scenarios were viewed less favorably. It is anticipated that these results will have a significant impact on physician decision making and performance, reimbursement policy, and will help guide future research.

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