An overview of risk assessment in coronary artery disease.


Journal Article

Risk assessment is a central activity in virtually all aspects of the examination and treatment of patients. Methods to standardize this process and improve its accuracy can only improve the quality of medical care. Since health care is undergoing reform in this country, it seems likely that physicians will increasingly need objective justification for their decision making. Risk assessment models offer a potentially useful tool. The Duke Treadmill Score is well-validated and clinically useful for risk assessment in patients with either established or suspected coronary artery disease for whom the desirability of additional invasive testing must be determined. One of the major goals of risk assessment is to identify the low-risk patients for whom no additional testing is required. Whereas multiple valid strategies for accomplishing this exist, there is no consensus on the optimal approach. Cost-containment pressures may indicate the use of exercise testing as the preferred initial strategy in patients who are able to exercise and have an interpretable electrocardiogram. Exercise nuclear testing could thus be reserved for patients in the intermediate-risk group for whom the additional accuracy of these latter tests would provide a more precise risk-stratification estimate. For patients unable to exercise, a pharmacologic stress test (such as echocardiography with dobutamine or an adenosine isonitrile study) would be an acceptable alternative.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Mark, DB

Published Date

  • March 10, 1994

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 73 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 19B - 25B

PubMed ID

  • 8141075

Pubmed Central ID

  • 8141075

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-9149

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/0002-9149(94)90261-5


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States