American Federation for Medical Research

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Do Echocardiograms Done on the Observation Floor Make Any Difference in the Final Management of the Patients?
Ali R. Ghani1, Muhammad Arslan Cheema1, Usman Sarwar1, Waqas Ullah1, Bruce Berger2. 1Internal Medicine, Abington Jefferson Health, Horsham, Rhode Island, United States, 2Cardiology, Abington Jefferson Health, Abington, Pennsylvania, United States

Purpose of Study
Transthoracic echocardiography is a noninvasive imaging modality mostly used for the diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases. There has been a rising trend in the irrational use of echocardiography for low-risk patients.
Methods Used
We performed a retrospective chart review in our hospital and collected data of 120 patients admitted with chest pain, shortness of breath or syncope. The baseline characteristics, demographics, and medical conditions were recorded. We analyzed these parameters against the observed positive findings on echocardiography.
Summary of Results
The mean age of included patients was 68.8 years (43-89) comprising 54% of females and 46% of males. More than half of the patients were having hypertension (51%). Other baseline characteristics were significant for diabetes, chronic kidney disease, coronary artery disease, and stroke in 33, 19, 18 and 3 percent of the patients respectively. The echocardiography was significant for ejection fraction less than 50% in only 5% of the patients while only 6.6% required a change of the current medications and surprisingly only 1.6% patients were subjected to left heart catheterization.
Conclusions
This study concludes that echocardiography done for low risk cardiac patients yield no additional benefits and does not cause a change in the management of the patients. This approach also creates a waste of healthcare budget and resources.


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