Application of appropriate use criteria for stress myocardial perfusion imaging at two academic medical centers: Compliance and association with image findings

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Purpose:Explore the extent to which stress myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) studies for coronary heart disease detection met published appropriate use criteria (AUC), and the association between AUC classification and image findings.Data sources:Retrospective, descriptive review of stress studies performed at the University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC n= 1377) and the Veterans Health Administration of Puget Sound (VA n= 1445) in the 31 months following AUC publication.Conclusions:At UWMC and VA, 69% and 89% of MPI studies, respectively, were classified as appropriate, 16% and 3% as inappropriate, and 15% and 8% as uncertain. All differences were significant, p < .001. At UWMC, 11% of appropriate studies and 10% of inappropriate or uncertain studies were abnormal (demonstrating myocardial ischemia or myocardial infarction), p= .93; these analyses were not performed on VA studies.Implications for practice:Most studies at both sites were classified as appropriate. At UWMC, the likelihood of a study classified as appropriate demonstrating an abnormality was not significantly different from a study classified as uncertain or inappropriate. AUC are imperfect tools but are increasingly created and referenced; as such, it is vital that practicing nurse practitioners are knowledgeable about their creation, application, and evaluation.

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