National report on optimal use of vascular laboratory tests for patients with known or suspected arterial disease

June 12, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- A new report issued today by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and developed in collaboration with 10 other leading professional societies provides detailed criteria to help clinicians maximize the appropriate use of certain noninvasive vascular tests when caring for patients with suspected or known non-coronary arterial disorders. Emile R. Mohler, MD, professor of Medicine and director of Vascular Medicine at Penn Medicine, chaired the national committee producing the criteria.

"This is the first systematic and comprehensive evaluation looking at appropriate indications for vascular testing, such as ultrasound or functional testing," said Dr. Mohler, who is also a member of the Penn Medicine Cardiovascular Institute. "We hope this document will help clinicians determine whether or not and when to refer individual patients for testing."

Ultrasound and other noninvasive can be essential tools to help clinicians evaluate vascular blockages and disease, for example, in the arteries of the neck, kidneys, abdomen, and lower extremities, as well as the itself. Such testing also plays a central role in surveillance of the in some patients to help inform and prevent serious problems, and is part of follow-up after peripheral vascular procedures, such as arterial bypass, surgical removal of plaque (), or stenting. Still, guidance about when and how to best use this technology in practice is largely missing, according to experts.

Such decisions affect a growing number of patients as the population ages. Dr. Mohler estimates more than 20 million adults in the U.S. have some form of vascular disease, and would likely be a candidate for these types of tests.

The panel identified common when noninvasive vascular testing might be considered in patients with suspected or known non-coronary arterial disorders (e.g., narrowing or in the arteries of the neck, kidneys, abdomen or legs, abdominal aortic aneurysms, arterial dissection). Applying a rigorous rating scale, the 19-member panel then assessed the appropriateness of each indication and often at different time intervals (3-5, 6-8 and 9-12 months).

In addition to looking at the reasons for ordering these tests, the work group also sought to determine how frequently repeat testing is needed in clinical practice in light of the need for ongoing surveillance in some patients.

The appropriate use criteria were developed in collaboration with the ACC, American College of Radiology, American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, American Society of Echocardiography, American Society of Nephrology, Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography, Society of Interventional Radiology, Society for Vascular Medicine and Society for Vascular Surgery. The document is further endorsed by the American Academy of Neurology, American Podiatric Medical Association, Society for Clinical Vascular Surgery, Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, and Society for Vascular Ultrasound.

Explore further: Increases in peripheral arterial disease revascularization correlates with screening growth

More information: www.cardiosource.org/

Related Stories

Increases in peripheral arterial disease revascularization correlates with screening growth

May 4, 2011
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is an indicator for coronary and carotid arterial disease and carries inherent risks of claudication and amputation. PAD screening has increased dramatically, particularly among cardiologists, ...

New criteria provide guidance about when to use cardiac catheterization to look for heart problems

May 9, 2012
Cardiac catheterization – an invasive diagnostic procedure that allows doctors to see the vessels and arteries leading to the heart and its chambers – is performed thousands of times in the United States each year ...

New appropriate use criteria reflect latest scientific data on restoring blood flow to heart

January 30, 2012
Updated appropriate use criteria released today offer detailed guidance on when to use an invasive procedure to improve blood flow to the heart and how to choose the best procedure for each patient. The clinical scenarios, ...

ACCF/AHA release updated guideline to promote better management of peripheral artery disease

September 29, 2011
Peripheral artery disease, or "PAD," is a common and dangerous condition that affects tens of millions of Americans -- often unknowingly -- and can restrict blood flow to the legs, kidneys or other vital organs. PAD, which ...

Atherosclerosis is not limited to the heart

August 29, 2011
For cardiologists, coronary artery disease is the most important presentation of atherosclerosis. Patients with coronary artery disease may also have symptomatic or asymptomatic atherosclerosis in other vascular areas (peripheral ...

Recommended for you

Could aggressive blood pressure treatments lead to kidney damage?

July 18, 2017
Aggressive combination treatments for high blood pressure that are intended to protect the kidneys may actually be damaging the organs, new research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine suggests.

Quantifying effectiveness of treatment for irregular heartbeat

July 17, 2017
In a small proof-of-concept study, researchers at Johns Hopkins report a complex mathematical method to measure electrical communications within the heart can successfully predict the effectiveness of catheter ablation, the ...

Concerns over side effects of statins stopping stroke survivors taking medication

July 17, 2017
Negative media coverage of the side effects associated with taking statins, and patients' own experiences of taking the drugs, are among the reasons cited by stroke survivors and their carers for stopping taking potentially ...

Study discovers anticoagulant drugs are being prescribed against safety advice

July 17, 2017
A study by researchers at the University of Birmingham has shown that GPs are prescribing anticoagulants to patients with an irregular heartbeat against official safety advice.

Protein may protect against heart attack

July 14, 2017
DDK3 could be used as a new therapy to stop the build-up of fatty material inside the arteries

Heart study finds faulty link between biomarkers and clinical outcomes

July 14, 2017
Surrogate endpoints (biomarkers), which are routinely used in clinical research to test new drugs, should not be trusted as the ultimate measure to approve new health interventions in cardiovascular medicine, according to ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.