Patterns of Stress Testing and Diagnostic Catheterization after Coronary Stenting in 250,350 Medicare Beneficiaries

OBJECTIVES: Patterns of non-invasive stress test (ST) and invasive coronary angiography (CA) utilization after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) are not well described in older populations.

METHODS: We linked National Cardiovascular Data Registry®CathPCI Registry® data with longitudinal Medicare claims data for 250,350 patients undergoing PCI from 2005 to 2007 and described subsequent testing and outcomes. Between 60 days post-PCI and end of follow-up (median 24 months), 49% (n=122,894) received stress testing first, 10% (n=25,512) underwent invasive CA first, and 41% (n=101,944) had no testing (NT).

RESULTS: A number of clinical risk factors at time of index PCI were associated with decreased likelihood of downstream testing (ST or CA, p<0.05 for all), including older age (HR 0.784 per 10 year increase), male sex (HR 0.946), heart failure (HR 0.925), diabetes (HR 0.954), smoking (HR 0.804), and renal failure (HR 0.880). Fifteen percent of patients with ST first proceeded to subsequent CA within 90 days of testing (n=18,472/101,884); of these, 48% (n=8831) underwent revascularization within 90 days, compared to 53% (n=13,316) of CA first patients (p<0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS: In this descriptive analysis, stress testing and invasive CA were common in older patients after PCI. Paradoxically, patients with higher-risk features at baseline were less likely to undergo post-PCI testing. The revascularization yield was low on patients referred for ST after PCI, with only 9% undergoing revascularization within 90 days. 

PMID: 23074343

Posted in * Journal Club Selections, Invasive Imaging, Nuclear Imaging and tagged , , , , , .

One Comment

  1. Understanding pre-test probabilities of patients and how their diagnostic algorithm should run are important, and this study helps us understand how high-risk patients are treated. Interestingly, the highest risk patients had less testing after PCI, and the yield of post-PCI testing was relatively low.

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