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Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2012 May;14(5):594-8. doi: 10.1093/icvts/ivr157. Epub 2012 Jan 31.

Heart team discussion in managing patients with coronary artery disease: outcome and reproducibility.

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Cardiothoracic Unit, Heart & Lung Centre, New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton, UK.


Recent ESC/EACTS revascularization guidelines advocate a 'Heart Team' (HT) approach in the decision-making process when managing patients with coronary disease. We prospectively assessed HT decision-making in 150 patients analysing personnel attendance, data presented, the 'actioning' of the HT decision and, if not completed, then the reasons why. Additionally, 50 patients were specifically re-discussed after 1 year in order to assess consistency in decision-making. We have two HT meetings each week. At least one surgeon, interventional cardiologist and non-interventional cardiologist were present at all meetings. Data presented included patient demographics, symptoms, co-morbidities, coronary angiography, left ventricular function and other relevant investigations, e.g. echocardiograms. HT decisions included continued medical treatment (22%), percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI; 22%), coronary-artery bypass grafting (CABG; 34%) or further investigations such as pressure wire studies, dobutamine stress echo or cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (22%). These decisions were fully undertaken in 86% of patients. Reasons for aberration in the remaining 21 patients included patient refusal (CABG 29%, PCI 10%) and further co-morbidities (28%). On re-discussion of the same patient data (n = 50) a year later, 24% of decisions differed from the original HT recommendations reflecting the fact that, for certain coronary artery disease pattern, either CABG or PCI could be appropriate.

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