(HealthDay News) — Appropriate use criteria have been developed for valvular heart disease imaging tests, according to a report published online Sept. 1 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

John U. Doherty, MD, from Thomas Jefferson University, and colleagues discussed appropriate use criteria to address the evaluation and use of multimodality imaging in the diagnosis and management of valvular heart disease.

The authors address the appropriate use of multiple imaging modalities available for clinicians in the evaluation of valvular heart disease, discussing the spectrum of patients, from asymptomatic patients to those with symptoms ranging from moderate to severe. Different categories of indications were created using a standardized approach with a goal of capturing real-world clinical scenarios. The clinical scenarios were rated by an independent panel, which determined whether use of an imaging test for each indication should be classified as “appropriate,” with benefits outweighing risks; “may be appropriate, ” with variable evidence or agreement regarding the benefit-risk ratio; or “rarely appropriate, ” with lack of a clear benefit/risk advantage. Clinical opinions may vary for a specific scenario; even appropriate tests may not always be necessary depending on physician judgment and patient-specific preferences.

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“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,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

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  1. Doherty JU, Kort S, Mehran R, et al. ACC/AATS/AHA/ASE/ASNC/HRS/SCAI/SCCT/SCMR/STS 2017 appropriate use criteria for multimodality imaging in valvular heart disease: A report of the American College of Cardiology Appropriate Use Criteria Task Force, American Association for Thoracic Surgery, American Heart Association, American Society of Echocardiography, American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, Heart Rhythm Society, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography, Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, and Society of Thoracic Surgeons. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2017 Aug 25. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2017.07.732