Abstract 153: Stress Testing Following PCI in the VA Health Care System: Insights from the VA CART Program
Background: Use of stress testing following percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is common in community practice with 60% of patients undergoing stress testing within 24 months of PCI. Rates of stress testing following PCI within integrated and salaried healthcare systems like the VA are unknown.
Methods: Using national data from the VA Clinical Assessment Reporting and Tracking (CART) Program, we evaluated all VA patients who had PCI from October 2007-September 2011. We assessed the proportion of patients undergoing stress testing, stress test type, and timing of stress testing in the 2 years following PCI. To be consistent with prior studies, we excluded stress tests performed within 60 days of PCI as these may reflect assessment of residual ischemia in anticipation of staged procedures. Timing of follow-up stress testing was determined from 30-day incremental windows of follow-up.
Results: Overall, 7,145 of 21,635 patients (33.0%) had a stress test performed within 2 years of PCI. The vast majority of stress tests following PCI were performed with nuclear imaging (80.8%). Treadmill stress ECG without imaging represented 15.2% of stress tests and stress echo 3.9%. Patients undergoing stress testing in follow-up were younger (63.4 vs 65.7 years, P<.001) and less likely to have comorbid congestive heart failure (21.8% vs 25.1%, P<.001) or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (23.2% vs 25.5%, P<.001). In 30-day incremental windows of follow-up, first stress tests were most commonly performed in the 60-90 days following PCI (Figure).
Conclusions: About 1 in 3 patients had a stress test performed in the 2 years following PCI in the VA. This rate is nearly half that reported from prior studies of community practice. Further study is needed to understand if this represents underuse of stress testing in VA or overuse in fee-for-service care.
Author Disclosures: S.M. Bradley: None. E. Hess: None. D.E. Winchester: None. J. Sussman: None. V. Aggarwal: None. T.M. Maddox: None. A.E. Baron: None. J.S. Rumsfeld: None. P. Ho: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.