Selective SPECT use reduces unnecessary admissions for chest pain

Last Updated: 2001-07-13 14:00:37 EDT (Reuters Health)
המידע באדיבות מדיקונטקסט
WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) – The addition of selective single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) myocardial perfusion imaging to the assessment of chest-pain patients in the emergency department can reduce unnecessary hospital admissions without compromising patient care, according to researchers in Connecticut.

This approach, which requires further study to determine its cost effectiveness, is described by Dr. Frans J. Th. Wackers, of Yale University School of Medicine, and colleagues in the June 15th issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

The investigators examined the potential benefits of their SPECT protocol over 3 years in more than 2600 patients evaluated at a single emergency department chest pain center. According to the protocol, rest SPECT imaging was offered to patients with ongoing pain and stress SPECT was offered to patients who were unable to undergo exercise electrocardiography.

Overall, 906 of the patients underwent SPECT imaging. Without SPECT, all of these patients would have been admitted to the hospital, the investigators say, and of these "762 would have been hospitalized unnecessarily based on the final diagnosis."

During the 3-year study, the use of selective SPECT imaging reduced the proportion of chest-pain patients who were hospitalized from 53% to 41% and those admitted specifically to rule out myocardial infarction from 32% to 18%.

Am J Cardiol 2001;87:1351-1355.

-Westport Newsroom 203 319 2700

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