I found a Medscape story about the following. Nothing else. Granted, I can’t see/find everything, so I may have missed some reporting on this. But nothing jumped out at me in a web search. Why not?
A paper in JAMA Internal Medicine, “Hospital Variation in the Use of Noninvasive Cardiac Imaging and Its Association With Downstream Testing, Interventions, and Outcomes,” was worthy of attention.
In a nutshell, the researchers found that noninvasive cardiac imaging actually led to a lot of invasive tests. The hospitals that do more noninvasive imaging do more invasive angiography. But none of this results in better outcomes. That’s an oversimplification of an important piece of work.
What are noninvasive cardiac imaging tests? Stress nuclear myocardial perfusion imaging, stress echocardiography, cardiac positron emission tomography, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, and cardiac computed tomography with coronary angiography (CTCA) with or without calcium scoring.
In its story, Medscape had no trouble seeing importance in the study. Their headline, “Cardiac Imaging Tests Beget More Tests, but No Benefit,” was appropriate. But you’ll also learn from reading the physician comments left in response to the story. You may not feel better after reading them, but perhaps you’ll learn from reading some of the defensive reactions.
Maybe big news organizations should spend more time looking at studies like this than reporting on a fistbumping study involving 2 subjects…or re-publishing news releases because they say they can’t find enough good news elsewhere – both of which occurred in recent weeks.
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