There is little published data on the demand for echocardiography services in the U.K. This retrospective survey of echocardiography request forms and reports was performed to assess potential changes in echocardiography request patterns between 1988 and 1993. These years were chosen as they were likely to reflect changes in clinical practice as a result of trials involving Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. A total of 400 consecutive request forms and reports were analysed. There was a 2.46 fold increase in the total number of echocardiograms performed between 1988 and 1993 with a disproportionate 12.5 fold increase in the relative number of requests for assessments of left ventricular function. This large increase is likely to be a result of recent major clinical trials which show morbidity and mortality benefits when patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction (including those who are asymptomatic) are treated with ACE inhibitors. Future planning of the echocardiographic services should include provision for the increasing numbers of patients requiring assessment of left ventricular function.
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - 1996|