Appropriate Use Criteria for Cardiac Radionuclide Imaging

The American College of Cardiology Foundation (ACCF), along with key specialty and subspecialty societies, conducted an appropriate use review of common clinical scenarios where cardiac radionuclide imaging (RNI) is frequently considered. This document is a revision of the original Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography Myocardial Perfusion Imaging (SPECT MPI) Appropriateness Criteria, published 4 years earlier, written to reflect changes in test utilization and new clinical data, and to clarify RNI use where omissions or lack of clarity existed in the original criteria. This is in keeping with the commitment to revise and refine appropriate use criteria (AUC) on a frequent basis.

The indications for this review were drawn from common applications or anticipated uses, as well as from current clinical practice guidelines. Sixty-seven clinical scenarios were developed by a writing group and scored by a separate technical panel on a scale of 1 to 9 to designate appropriate use, inappropriate use, or uncertain use.

In general, use of cardiac RNI for diagnosis and risk assessment in intermediate- and high-risk patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) was viewed favorably, while testing in low-risk patients, routine repeat testing, and general screening in certain clinical scenarios were viewed less favorably. Additionally, use for perioperative testing was found to be inappropriate except for high selected groups of patients. It is anticipated that these results will have a significant impact on physician decision making, test performance, and reimbursement policy, and will help guide future research.

Hendel et al, Circulation. 2009;53(23):2201-2229
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