Trained and supervised physician assistants can safely perform diagnostic cardiac catheterization with coronary angiography.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Using a prospectively collected database of patients undergoing cardiac catheterization, we sought to compare the outcomes of procedures performed by supervised physician assistants (PAs) with those performed by supervised cardiology fellows-in-training. Outcome measures included procedural length, fluoroscopy use, volume of contrast media, and complications including myocardial infarction, stroke, arrhythmia requiring defibrillation or pacemaker placement, pulmonary edema requiring intubation, and vascular complications. Class 3 and 4 congestive heart failure was more common in patients who underwent procedures by fellows compared with those undergoing procedures by PAs (P = 0.001). PA cases tended to be slightly faster (P = 0.05) with less fluoroscopic time (P < 0.001). The incidence of major complications within 24 hr of the procedure was similar between the two groups (0.54% in PA cases and 0.58% in fellow cases). Under the supervision of experienced attending cardiologists, trained PAs can perform diagnostic cardiac catheterization, including coronary angiography, with complication rates similar to those of cardiology fellows-in-training.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Krasuski, RA; Wang, A; Ross, C; Bolles, JF; Moloney, EL; Kelly, LP; Harrison, JK; Bashore, TM; Sketch, MH

Published Date

  • June 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 59 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 157 - 160

PubMed ID

  • 12772231

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1522-1946

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/ccd.10491


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States