News | March 25, 2013

Echocardiograms as Part of Patient Surgery Assessments May Be Overused

The American Society of Echocardiography joins with 16 other specialty groups —releasing a list of “Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question” at a national event in Washington, D.C.

Choosing Wisely ASE Echocardiogram

March 25, 2013 — The American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) released a list of five interventions whose appropriateness physicians and patients should discuss as part of Choosing Wisely, an initiative of the ABIM Foundation, along with Consumer Reports. Third in the list, they ask that patients and their doctors talk about the real need for an echocardiogram when preparing for a surgery.

Avoid echocardiograms for preoperative/perioperative assessment of patients with no history or symptoms of heart disease.

When preparing for surgery, it is important for patients to see their doctor to make sure that their medical conditions are stable before the operation is performed. If the patient has an abnormal exam finding, such as a loud heart murmur, an echocardiogram may be helpful to determine the extent of valve damage that is present. A severe blockage of a valve can increase the risk of many surgical procedures. Treating the valve condition can lower the risk of the operation.

In addition, when a patient exhibits significant breathing problems an echocardiogram can be useful to determine if the heart is the cause of this and then help guide treatment to lower the risk of the operation.

But in a patient with no history of heart problems and a normal exam, there is little reason to perform an echocardiogram for low and intermediate risk operations. It is unlikely that there would be a significant valve condition present. And even if a mildly weakened heart is detected on an echo, this does not preclude doing an operation safely. It should be noted, however, that for high-risk procedures like major vascular surgery, a preoperative echocardiogram or stress echocardiogram might be entirely appropriate.

The goal of Choosing Wisely is to promote conversations between physicians and patients about utilizing the most appropriate tests and treatments and avoiding care that may provide no benefit.

ASE’s testing cardiovascular care scenarios were chosen based on the highest likelihood of improving patient care and reducing inappropriate test use. Leaders in the organization transformed the scenarios into plain language and produced the clinical explanations for each procedure. In particular, ASE’s cardiovascular care experts, reviewed the ACCF/ASE/AHA/ASNC/HFSA/HRS/SCAI/SCCM/SCCT/SCMR 2011 Appropriateness Use Criteria for Echocardiography (AUC), which was published in March 2011.

ASE encourages all medical professionals engaged in cardiovascular care to read the “Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question” lists and to engage their patients in conversations about reducing inappropriate tests and procedures with a goal of improving care and avoiding harm.

Consumer Reports, along with a coalition of consumer partner organizations, is also a part of the Choosing Wisely effort and is working with many of the societies to help patients understand the tests and treatments that are right for them.

For more information: www.choosingwisely.org, www.asecho.org

Related Content

EchoGo uses artificial intelligence (AI) to calculate cardiac ultrasound left ventricular ejection fraction (EF), the most frequently used measurement of heart function, left ventricular volumes (LV) and, for the first time for an AI application, automated cardiac strain.

EchoGo uses artificial intelligence (AI) to calculate cardiac ultrasound left ventricular ejection fraction (EF), the most frequently used measurement of heart function, left ventricular volumes (LV) and, for the first time for an AI application, automated cardiac strain.

News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound | November 14, 2019
November 14, 2019 — Ultromics has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S.
Mindray announced its partnership with Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, one of the top children's hospitals in the United States
News | Ultrasound Imaging | November 13, 2019
November 13, 2019 – Mindray announced its partnership with...
Using artificial intelligence to predice risk of thyroid cancer on ultrasound.

Using artificial intelligence to predice risk of thyroid cancer on ultrasound.

News | Artificial Intelligence | November 06, 2019
November 6, 2019 — Thyroid nodules are small lumps that form within the thyroid gland and are quite common in the gen
The Konica Minolta Sonimage HS1 hand-carried system is designed for point of care ultrasound (POCUS) use for an immediate, quick look inside the patient. POCUS systems from several vendors are seeing rapid growth.

The Konica Minolta Sonimage HS1 hand-carried system is designed for point of care ultrasound (POCUS) use for an immediate, quick look inside the patient. POCUS systems from several vendors are seeing rapid growth.

Feature | Ultrasound Imaging | October 24, 2019 | Joan Toth
With the miniaturization of technology, improved ease of use, lower system cost, increased portability, and greater
Exact Imaging Receives FDA 510(k) Clearance for Sterile Transperineal Needle Guide
Technology | Ultrasound Imaging | October 24, 2019
Exact Imaging received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 510(k) clearance for its Sterile Transperineal Needle...
The Revolution Apex intelligent computed tomography (CT) scanner

The Revolution Apex intelligent computed tomography (CT) scanner. Image courtesy of GE Healthcare.

News | RSNA | October 18, 2019
At the 2019 annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA 2019), Dec. 1-6 in Chicago, GE Healthcare...
Philips Partners With PURE on Tele-Ultrasound Program for Physicians in Rwanda
News | Ultrasound Imaging | October 09, 2019
Philips and non-profit organization PURE (Point-of-care Ultrasound in Resource-limited Environments) highlighted a tele...
Samsung to Unveil Hera I10 Ultrasound at SDMS 2019
Technology | Ultrasound Women's Health | September 28, 2019
NeuroLogica, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., announced that the Samsung Hera I10 ultrasound system has...
Fujifilm Sonosite Partnering With Artificial Intelligence Incubator to Improve Ultrasound Image Interpretation
News | Ultrasound Imaging | September 23, 2019
Fujifilm SonoSite Inc. and the Allen Institute of Artificial Intelligence (AI2) Incubator, builder of AI-first startups...