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Assessing Appropriateness of Coronary Angiography: Another Step in Improving Quality

David P. Faxon, MD
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

From Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02120.

Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.

Requests for Single Reprints: David P. Faxon, MD, Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 1620 Tremont Street, OBC-3-12N, Boston, MA 02120; e-mail, dfaxon@partners.org.

Ann Intern Med. 2008;149(4):276-278. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-149-4-200808190-00011
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Coronary angiography has been the principal means of assessing coronary disease in patients who may need coronary revascularization (1). Introduced in the 1960s, the test has become one of the most frequently performed procedures in the United States. The American Heart Association estimates that more than 1.3 million procedures were done in 2005, an increase of 342% since 1979 (2). With the phenomenal growth of this expensive test and the small but significant morbidity and mortality associated with it, many have questioned the appropriateness of the present rates of use of the procedure.

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