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Aten Primaria. 2012 Apr;44(4):190-8. doi: 10.1016/j.aprim.2011.03.007. Epub 2011 Sep 19.

[Suitability and performance of echocardiogram in primary care].

[Article in Spanish]

Author information

1
Medicina de Familia, Centro de Atención Primaria Sardenya, Barcelona, España.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The echocardiogram (ECC) is not available to all Spanish General Practitioners (GP) despite its proven benefits in prevalent diseases, such as hypertension and heart failure.

STUDY OBJECTIVE:

To analyse the clinical adequacy of the application, performance, and diagnostic and therapeutic decisions of ECC indicated by the GP.

DESIGN:

Descriptive, cross-sectional, retrospective, multicentre study.

SETTING:

Primary care. Four health centres (HC).

PARTICIPANTS:

A total of 684 patients over 18 years who had an ECC performed in 2006-2007.

MAIN MEASUREMENTS:

A review of medical records and the ECC report. The socio-demographic variables, clinical and diagnostic performance were also evaluated.

RESULTS:

The majority of patients (62.3%) were ≥ 65 years, of which 61.8% were female The most frequent reasons for performing ECC were (but not limited to): heart failure: 30%, suspected valvular disease: 26%; suspected cardiomyopathy: 24.3%. Adequacy of the ECC: 84% (95% CI: 81.09-86.7%) with differences by age (p=.02), HC teaching (p<.001), comorbidity (p<.001) and abnormal ECC (p<.001). A disease was found in 80% of ECC, with differences according to age (p<.001), comorbidity (p=0.02), cardiovascular risk factors (p<.001) and degree of appropriateness of ECC (p=.001). The most common findings (but not limited to) included: valvular heart disease (61.6%) left ventricular hypertrophy (43%) diastolic dysfunction (28.2%). The results of the ECC helped make decisions in 35.2%, with 17.1% referred to cardiology, 10.5% treatment change and 9.6% other tests.

CONCLUSIONS:

We found that the application of ECC was highly appropriate. The results of ECC drive clinical decisions in a high percentage of cases. The ECC should be accessible to all GP.

PMID:
21937150
DOI:
10.1016/j.aprim.2011.03.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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