(HealthDay News) — More than half of coronary angiographic studies done to investigate suspected ischemic heart disease (IHD) would be classified as appropriate according to the 2012 appropriate use criteria for diagnostic catheterization (AUC). The findings were published in the March 10 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Michael M. Mohareb, MD, from the University of Toronto, and colleagues validated the 2012 AUC in patients with suspected stable IHD. Data were included from a registry of patients having elective angiography at 18 hospitals in Ontario, Canada, between October 1, 2008, and September 30, 2011. Data were included for a final cohort of 48,336 patients.

The researchers found that among the cohort, 58.2, 10.8, and 31.0% of angiographic studies were classified as appropriate, inappropriate, and uncertain, respectively. Within the cohort, 45.5% of patients had obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD). Among those with appropriate indications for angiography, 52.9% had obstructive CAD and 40.0% underwent revascularization, compared with 30.9 and 18.9%, respectively, for those with inappropriate indications, and 36.7 and 25.9%, respectively, for those with uncertain indications. More patients with appropriate indications had obstructive CAD and underwent revascularization (P<0.001). A considerable proportion of those with inappropriate or uncertain indications had important coronary disease.

“Despite the association between appropriateness category and obstructive CAD, this study raises concerns about the ability of the AUC to guide clinical decision-making,” the authors write.

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