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JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2013 Sep;6(9):987-92. doi: 10.1016/j.jcmg.2013.04.011.

Clinical utility and prognostic value of appropriateness criteria in stress echocardiography for the evaluation of valvular heart disease.

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Department of Cardiology and Echocardiography Laboratory, Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust, London, United Kingdom.


We examined the prognostic value of stress echocardiography appropriateness criteria for evaluation of valvular heart disease in 100 consecutive patients. Of the studies, 49%, 36%, and 15% were classified as appropriate, uncertain, and inappropriate, respectively. Over a median of 12.6 months, 24 events (12 deaths and 12 heart failure admissions) occurred. The 12-month event-free survival was significantly reduced in patients with appropriate or uncertain studies compared with patients with inappropriate studies (p = 0.04 and p = 0.005, respectively). There was no survival difference between patients with an appropriate or uncertain indication (p = 0.1). The only independent predictors of events were a positive stress echocardiogram (hazard ratio: 15.5, p < 0.0001) and left ventricular ejection fraction (hazard ratio: 0.95, p = 0.02). The appropriateness criteria for evaluation of valvular heart disease provide the ability to differentiate between patients at high- (appropriate group) and low- (inappropriate group) risk of cardiac events. Reclassification of the uncertain group may improve the differential value of these criteria.


dobutamine; exercise; stress echocardiography; valvular heart disease

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