Understanding variability in physician ratings of the appropriateness of coronary angiography after acute myocardial infarction

J Clin Epidemiol. 1999 Apr;52(4):309-19. doi: 10.1016/s0895-4356(98)00166-8.


We examined variability in ratings of the appropriateness of coronary angiography for 890 clinical scenarios (indications) after an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) from a nine-member multispecialty panel as a function of panel characteristics and the attributes of the clinical indications. We documented a substantial degree of reliability in the ratings. However, key differences among the experts in terms of both their overall propensity to score high and their beliefs regarding the impact of clinical factors on appropriateness were identified. Age, cardiac complications, post-AMI angina, and noninvasive test results were the clinical factors most strongly related to appropriateness ratings for coronary angiography. Further research on the effectiveness of coronary angiography in older patients and in patients with shock, pulmonary edema, and silent ischemia is needed to improve our knowledge about the appropriateness of this procedure in these patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Computer Simulation
  • Coronary Angiography / statistics & numerical data*
  • Delphi Technique
  • Humans
  • Medicine
  • Myocardial Infarction / classification
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnostic imaging*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Specialization