Choosing Wisely:

Don’t perform cardiac imaging for patients who are at low risk.

Rationale and Comments: Chest pain patients at low risk of cardiac death and myocardial infarction (based on history, physical exam, electrocardiograms, and cardiac biomarkers) do not merit stress radionuclide myocardial perfusion imaging or stress echocardiography as an initial testing strategy if they have a normal electrocardiogram (without baseline ST-abnormalities, left ventricular hypertrophy, pre-excitation, bundle branch block, intraventricular conduction delay, paced rhythm or on digoxin therapy) and are able to exercise.
Sponsoring Organizations:
  • American Society of Nuclear Cardiology
  • Sources:
  • ACC/AHA guidelines
  • Disciplines:
  • Cardiovascular
  • References: • Hendel RC, Berman DS, Di Carli MF, Heidenreich PA, Henkin RE, Pellikka PA, Pohost GM, Williams KA. ACCF/ASNC/ACR/AHA/ASE/SCCT/SCMR/SNM 2009 appropriate use criteria for cardiac radionuclide imaging: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation Appropriate Use Criteria Task Force, the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, the American College of Radiology, the American Heart Association, the American Society of Echocardiography, the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography, the Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, and the Society of Nuclear Medicine. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2009;53:2201-29.
    • Taylor AJ, Cerqueira M, Hodgson JM, Mark D, Min J, O’Gara P, Rubin GD. ACCF/SCCT/ACR/AHA/ASE/ASNC/SCAI/SCMR 2010 appropriate use criteria for cardiac computed tomography: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation Appropriate Use Criteria Task Force, the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography, the American College of Radiology, the American Heart Association, the American Society of Echocardiography, the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, and the Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2010;56:1864-94.
    • Anderson JL, Adams CD, Antman EM, Bridges CR, Califf RM, Casey DE Jr, Chavey WE II, Fesmire FM, Hochman JS, Levin TN, Lincoff AM, Peterson ED, Theroux P, Wenger NK, Wright RS. ACC/AHA 2007 guidelines for the management of patients with unstable angina/non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines (Writing Committee to Revise the 2002 Guidelines for the Management of Patients with Unstable Angina/Non-ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction): developed in collaboration with the American College of Emergency Physicians, American College of Physicians, Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, and Society of Thoracic Surgeons. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2007;50:e1-157.

    Email Alerts

    Don't miss a single issue. Sign up for the free AFP email table of contents.

    Sign Up Now