Some U.S. hospitals said that 100% of patients undergoing a procedure that detects obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD) were found to have CAD while others reported that as little as 23 percent of patients selected for elective catheterization did not actually have blockages, a recent study said.
Researchers evaluated 565,504 patients with no known heart disease who underwent elective cardiac catheterization at 691 hospitals nationwide over a 3-year period and found extreme inconsistency.
Researchers are urging more efforts to improve patient selection as the procedures are extremely invasive and costly.
CAD is a chronic, progressive heart disease enabled by a buildup of plaque in the arteries on the heart's surface. The debilitating illness can lead to heart attack or death when the plaque obstructs blood follow to the heart.
Contributing factors include smoking, high levels of fat and cholesterol in the blood, high blood pressure, lack of exercise and being overweight.
The inconsistency between individual hospital behavioral appears to be related to factors such as patterns of patient selection and pre-catheterization evaluation, testing, and treatment, reported Medical New Today.