The Effect of Adoption of an Electronic Health Record on Duplicate Testing
Background. The electronic health record (EHR) has been promoted as a tool to improve quality of patient care, reduce costs, and improve efficiency. There is little data to confirm that the use of EHR has reduced duplicate testing. We sought to evaluate the rate of performance of repeat transthoracic echocardiograms before and after the adoption of EHR. Methods. We retrospectively examined the rates of repeat echocardiograms performed before and after the implementation of an EHR system. Results. The baseline rate of repeat testing before EHR was 4.6% at six months and 7.6% at twelve months. In the first year following implementation of EHR, 6.6% of patients underwent a repeat study within 6 months, and 12.9% within twelve months. In the most recent year of EHR usage, 5.7% of patients underwent repeat echocardiography at six months and 11.9% within twelve months. All rates of duplicate testing were significantly higher than their respective pre-EHR rates (p < 0.01 for all). Conclusion. Our study failed to demonstrate a reduction in the rate of duplicate echocardiography testing after the implementation of an EHR system. We feel that this data, combined with other recent analyses, should promote a more rigorous assessment of the initial claims of the benefits associated with EHR implementation.
Inadequate Blood Pressure Control in Hypertensive Patients Referred for Cardiac Stress Test
The current study examined the degree of blood pressure (BP) control and incidence of myocardial ischemia in hypertensive patients (n=2039) referred for cardiac stress test. Patients were categorized into well-controlled (<140/90Â mmÂ Hg), poorly controlled (140-160/90-100Â mmÂ Hg), and very poorly controlled (>160/100Â mmÂ Hg) groups according to their resting BP. The mean age[Â±standard error of the mean] of the patients was 68Â±13Â years, and 885 (43.4%) were men. The prevalence of well-controlled hypertension (HTN) was 47.2%, poorly controlled HTN wasÂ 29.5%, and very poorly controlled HTN was 23.3%. Evidence of ischemia was seen in 19.8% and 19.3% of the well-controlled and poorly controlled groups, respectively. The very poorly controlled group had the lowest incidence of ischemia (14.3%) (P<.05) compared with the other two groups. Symptoms that mimic ischemic heart disease in hypertensive patients may be partly explained by poorly controlled BP. Quality of care might be improved by optimally controlling BP in patients with angina symptoms prior to ordering diagnostic testing associated with radiationÂ exposure and cost.
A Rare Association of Sinus Venosus-Type Atrial Septal Defect and Persistent Left Superior Vena Cava Detected by Transthoracic Echocardiography and Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging
BACKGROUND Association of persistent left superior vena cava (PLSVC) and sinus venosus-type atrial septal defect (SVASD) is rare. We describe a patient with dilated coronary sinus (CS) found to have PLSVC and SVASD. CASE REPORT The patient is a 60-year-old man with history of stroke who underwent a transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) for evaluation of shortness of breath. TTE demonstrated a markedly dilated CS. Agitated saline was injected into the left antecubital vein to further assess CS. The parasternal long axis view demonstrated immediate filling of the CS and confirmed the presence of a PLSVC. Apical 4-chamber view with injection of agitated saline into the right antecubital vein demonstrated immediate contrast opacification of both atria, consistent with a right to left cardiac shunt. Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) was performed, which confirmed the TTE findings of PLSVC and defined the cardiac shunt as SVASD. CONCLUSIONS PLSVC should be suspected in a patient with an abnormally dilated CS. In this case we identified a rare association of PLSVC with a SVASD. TTE with agitated saline contrast injection and CMR are useful diagnostic tools for PLSVC and associated cardiac congenital anomalies, respectively.
A phase 2 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the effect of VIA-2291, a 5-lipoxygenase inhibitor, on vascular inflammation in patients after an acute coronary syndrome
OBJECTIVE:Arachidonate 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) is a key enzyme in the synthesis of leukotrienes. VIA-2291 is a potent 5-LO inhibitor, which has been shown to reduce hsCRP and noncalcified coronary plaque volume following an acute coronary syndrome (ACS). We aim to evaluate the effect of VIA-2291 on vascular inflammation compared to placebo using FDG-PET. METHODS:A Phase II, randomized, double-blind, parallel-group study was conducted in 52 patients with recent ACS assigned 1:1 to either 100 mg VIA-2291 or placebo for 24 weeks. The primary outcome was the effect of VIA-2291 relative to placebo on arterial inflammation detected by (18)fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) within the index vessel after 24 weeks of daily treatment, compared to baseline. RESULTS:VIA-2291 was relatively well tolerated and was associated with a significant inhibition of the potent chemo-attractant LTB4, with a mean inhibition of activity of 92.8% (p<0.0001) at 6 weeks in the VIA-2291 group, without further significant change in inhibition at 24 weeks. However, for VIA-2291 was not associated with significant difference in inflammation (target-to-background ratio) compared to placebo at 24 weeks or 6 weeks of treatment. Further, VIA-2291 was not associated with a significant reduction in hsCRP from baseline after either 6 or 24 weeks of treatment. CONCLUSIONS:VIA-2291 is well-tolerated and effectively reduces leukotriene production. However, inhibition of 5-LO with VIA-2291 is not associated with significant reductions in vascular inflammation (by FDG-PET) or in blood inflammatory markers. Accordingly, this study does not provide evidence to support a significant anti-inflammatory effect of VIA-2291 in patients with recent ACS.
IMPACT OF THE UPDATED 2009 AMERICAN COLLEGE OF CARDIOLOGY/ AMERICAN SOCIETY OF NUCLEAR CARDIOLOGY APPROPRIATENESS CRITERIA FOR SINGLE-PHOTON EMISSION COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY MYOCARDIAL PERFUSION IMAGING [Meeting Abstract]
ASSESSMENT OF CHANGE IN CLINICAL PRACTICE USING THE UPDATED 2009 AMERICAN COLLEGE OF CARDIOLOGY/AMERICAN SOCIETY OF NUCLEAR CARDIOLOGY FOR APPROPRIATENESS CRITERIA SINGLE-PHOTON EMISSION COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY MYOCARDIAL PERFUSION IMAGING [Meeting Abstract]
Death by coconut [Case Report]
An overhanging intracoronary stent: an incidental finding or the Sword of Damocles? [Case Report]
Benefit of TEE in Patients Over 50 with Unexplained Stroke and Normal TTE Study [Meeting Abstract]
Assessment of metoprolol tartrate dosage in the outpatient setting [Letter]