Avoiding Cardiac Catheterization
New methods needed to ID cardiac catheterization candidates
It’s time to re-think how patients are selected for cardiac catheterization, say doctors at Duke University Medical Center, after reporting in a new study that the invasive procedure found no significant coronary artery disease in nearly 60 percent of chest pain patients with no prior heart disease. “Our data show that up to two thirds of the patients undergoing invasive cardiac catheterization are found not have significant obstructive disease,” says Manesh Patel, MD, a cardiologist with the Duke Heart Center. He’s the lead author of the study published in the March 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
“We’re spending a lot of energy and money to evaluate chest pain which often leads to cardiac catheterization, which, we now know, often finds that patients don’t have significant obstructive disease,” Patel says. “Our research shows that our methods for identifying patients at risk for obstructive disease need significant improvement.”