Appropriately testing patients with intermediate risk for coronary artery disease: how well are we doing?

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Abstract

Background

Cardiovascular risk assessment and stratification of stable coronary artery disease represents a pivotal component of coronary artery disease management. The introduction of risk stratification tools has advanced the detection of patients with intermediate to high risk for coronary artery events. These patients will ultimately undergo non-invasive and invasive cardiovascular testing.

Objective

To synthesise evidence illustrating risk stratification tools and non-invasive testing for patients with intermediate risk for coronary artery disease and suggest a simple method for clinicians to follow prior to ordering non-invasive cardiovascular testing.

Study selection

Literature review of PubMed and MEDLINE Central on studies and evidence highlighting the appropriate use criteria for radionuclide myocardial perfusion imaging.

Findings and conclusions

Overtestingusing myocardial perfusion imaging is well documented in several studies in the literature. Few studies highlighted the importance of the appropriate use criteria for radionuclide myocardial perfusion imaging, which can reduce unnecessary testing in patients with suspected coronary artery disease. Herein, we propose ‘Simple Steps to Follow’ to be considered by clinicians prior to ordering radionuclide myocardial perfusion imaging. The target audience of this article is internal and family medicine primary care physicians and other non-cardiologist physicians.

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