Coronary Artery Disease Testing Underutilized in Heart Failure Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Ajay J. Kirtane, MD, SM, FACC, FSCAI Associate Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center Chief Academic Officer, Center for Interventional Vascular Therapy Director, NYP/Columbia Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories New York, NY 10032

Dr. Ajay Kirtane

Ajay J. Kirtane, MD, SM, FACC, FSCAI
Associate Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center
Chief Academic Officer, Center for Interventional Vascular Therapy
Director, NYP/Columbia Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories
New York, NY  10032

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Patients with inpatient heart failure are a higher-risk patient population who can benefit from the identification and treatment of coronary artery disease. We sought to identify how frequently these patients in fact underwent testing for coronary artery disease.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Despite these patients being at higher risk with known benefits from the identification and treatment of coronary artery disease, the majority of patients with an inpatient diagnosis of heart failure failed to undergo testing for coronary artery disease. While there has been a recent and highly publicized emphasis upon overutilization of cardiac testing and invasive coronary procedures, our findings suggest an overlaid significant testing and treatment gap for a higher-risk population of patients.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Further efforts must be made to try to identify clinically appropriate and higher risk patients for coronary artery disease testing. Heart failure is a clear arbiter of higher risk, and we need to address treatment gaps in this population so as to maximize the benefit of the tests and therapies that we can offer to patients. 

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Solely that an overemphasis upon the potential harms of inappropriate testing can mask concomitant underutilization of appropriate testing. We just need to be cognizant of this when as we become more and more restrictive in our testing and treatment recommendations. 

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

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