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New Guidelines for Echocardiography

Latest research incorporated into new recommendations

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MONDAY, Aug. 4, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- Updated guidelines on echocardiography include new recommendations for its use during stress or exercise testing, as well as in patients with heart failure or those who are critically ill.

The 2003 Guideline Update for the Clinical Application of Echocardiography was issued by the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and the American Society of Echocardiography. The original guidelines were published in 1997.

"Time has marched on, there have been many more studies that have allowed us to better classify the indications for echocardiography," Dr. Melvin D. Cheitlin, professor of medicine, emeritus, University of California, San Francisco, says in a statement.

Cheitlin chaired the committee that updated the guidelines.

"In the guidelines published in 1997, there was relatively minimal information about the usefulness of stress in detecting ischemia (reduced blood flow to the heart), in prognosticating what was going to happen to the patient with ischemia, and in detecting myocardial infarct (heart attack). Since that time, there has been a great deal of evidence collected that shows the value of echo stress testing," Cheitlin says.

A summary report of the updated guidelines appears in the Sept. 2 issue of Circulation and in the Sept. 3 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about echocardiography.

SOURCE: American College of Cardiology, news release, Aug. 4, 2003
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