2009-06-08Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1515/JPM.2009.137
Utility of two-dimensional echocardiography in pregnancy and post-partum period and impact on management in an inner city hospital
Hale, Theodore M.
Aim: Evaluate the practice and appropriateness of requesting echocardiograms in patients with suspected or documented cardiac disease during gestation and puerperium, using the American College of Cardiology Foundation (ACCF) appropriateness criteria, in conjunction with clinical picture. Methods: Retrospective observational study, to analyze echocardiograms performed during pregnancy and puerperium at a teaching hospital from 2001 to 2006 for appropriateness criteria and studying its impact on management. Sixty-seven patients pregnant or in the puerperal stage had an echocardiogram performed during that period; 58 met our criteria for inclusion. Results: Based on clinical information and criteria of the ACCF, 51 of the 58 echocardiograms met the appropriateness criteria. Of the 51, results of 40 impacted on management; 14 of the 40 echocardiograms that had an impact were abnormal. Conclusions: Although the ACCF appropriateness criteria have not been specifically studied in pregnancy, our study demonstrates that the criteria are applicable if used appropriately in pregnancy. Most indications in our study correlated with the appropriateness criteria. Although most findings were normal, information from echocardiograms impacted on management in the majority of patients, contributing to therapeutic decision-making. The reliability of echocardiograms performed according to appropriate criteria to assist clinical decisions was excellent even in patients with physiologic cardiovascular changes.
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