ACC releases 10-point criteria for valvular imaging tests

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The American College of Cardiology (ACC), partnering with nine other societies, released appropriate use criteria for imaging tests of valvular heart disease. The Sept. 1 document addresses evaluation and use of imaging in diagnosing and managing the condition.

Alongside groups such as the American Heart Association and the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, the ACC noted the need for multimodality imaging throughout the care continuum. The development of less-invasive and transcatheter treatments requires precise imaging.

“As imaging technologies and clinical applications continue to advance, the health care community must understand how best to incorporate these technologies into daily clinical care and how to choose between new and established imaging technologies,” said John U. Doherty, MD, professor of medicine at Thomas Jefferson University and chair of the writing committee, in the release.

The document addresses patients with valvular heart disease—from those with no symptoms but are suspected of having the condition to those with mild to severe symptoms. The writing committee developed clinical scenarios to cover established and emerging treatment options. An independent rating panel assessed whether an imaging test fell into one of three categories: “appropriate,” “may be appropriate,” or “rarely appropriate.”

“The goal of this document is to identify all imaging tests that are considered reasonable for a given clinical indication,” the release stated. “Therefore, the testing modalities were rated for their level of appropriateness specific to clinical scenarios rather than a forced rank order comparison against other testing modalities.”

The committee noted that these indications are intended to broadly cover cardiovascular signs and symptoms, but the document will not cover all clinical scenarios.