The impact of echocardiographic results on treatment decisions for patients suspected of mitral valve prolapse.
Although echocardiography is frequently ordered in ambulatory settings for patients suspected of mitral valve prolapse (MVP), its impact on their subsequent management is unknown. We studied the relationship between the results of echocardiography for outpatients suspected of MVP, and two frequent medical decisions: treatment with beta blockers and the recommendation of antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent bacterial endocarditis. A medical record audit was performed on 274 outpatients referred to a university medical center echocardiography laboratory to rule out MVP. Although echocardiographic evidence for MVP significantly influenced the decision to recommend antibiotic prophylaxis (P less than 0.001), symptoms were more likely to be used as indications for beta-blocker therapy in patients suspected of the condition. We conclude that echocardiographic results are used for recommending antibiotic prophylaxis to outpatients suspected of MVP, but not for beta-blocker therapy.
Retchin, SM; Waugh, RA; Fletcher, RH
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