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Comment & Response
July 2014

Assessing the Clinical Impact of Appropriate Echocardiograms

Author Affiliations
  • 1Cardiac Ultrasound Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(7):1195-1196. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.1440

To the Editor Appropriate use criteria (AUC) were created by the American College of Cardiology and subspecialty societies with the goal of providing health care practitioners and reimbursement agencies a rational approach to the use of diagnostic imaging in the delivery of high-quality care.1 In a recent issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, Matulevicius and colleagues2 present novel data regarding the association of AUC classification and clinical impact of transthoracic echocardiography (TTE). They conclude that despite a high prevalence of appropriate TTEs (approximately 92%), only one-third of TTEs resulted in an active change in clinical care. Findings from this study have generated discussion in the echocardiography community and resulted in a response statement from the American Society of Echocardiography.3

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