Clinician-dependent variations in inappropriate use of myocardial perfusion imaging: training, specialty, and location

Inappropriate use of myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) may vary depending on the training, specialty, or practice location of the clinician.


We conducted a cross-sectional investigation of consecutive patients who underwent MPI at our Veterans Affairs medical center between December 2010 and July 2011. Characteristics of the MPI ordering clinicians were extracted to investigate any associations with inappropriate use.


582 patients were included, 9.8% were inappropriate. No difference in inappropriate use was observed between cardiology and non-cardiology clinicians (n = 21, 9.5% vs n = 36, 10.0%, P = .83); no difference was noted between nurse practitioners/physician assistants, attending physicians, and housestaff (7.5% vs 11.2% vs 1.8%, P = .06). Comparing inpatient, emergency department and outpatient clinician groups, the difference was null (8.6% vs 6.3% vs 10.1%, P = .75). For most clinician groups, the most common inappropriate indication was an asymptomatic scenario; however, some groups were different: definite acute coronary syndrome for inpatient clinicians and low risk syncope for emergency medicine clinicians.


Clinician groups appear to order inappropriate MPI at similar rates, regardless of their training, specialty, or practice location. Differences in the most common type of inappropriate testing suggest that interventions to reduce inappropriate use should be tailored to specific clinician types.


Cardiologie en Cardiothoracale chirurgieDiagnostiekBelemmerende en bevorderende factor



Winchester DE
Hymas J
Meral R
Nguyen D
Dusaj R
Shaw LJ
Beyth RJ