Does a Heart Team Improve Clinical Outcomes?

Published:February 12, 2022DOI:
      Consultation by a Heart Team (HT) is a class I recommendation by the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, and the European Society of Cardiology for the management of patients with complex cardiac disease. Despite the class I recommendation, there is a paucity of data to support the role of an HT with only level C quality of evidence. This study was performed to follow patients who were referred for HT consultation and long-term outcomes in relation to whether the recommendation of the HT was followed or not. We performed a prospective analysis of our cohort of patients who underwent consultation by the HT. A total of 342 cases have been followed. Patient characteristics, referring physicians’ favored treatment, and key outcomes were followed. A total of 336 patients were reviewed; 70.4% were male patients with a median age of 66.3 years and an average EuroSCORE II score of 7.2%. A total of 79.9% of the discussions resulted in a unanimous decision. The recommendations made by the HT differed from those documented by the referring physician in 54% of cases. In conclusion, recommendations made by the HT were followed in 269 cases (83.8%). There was a significant reduction in cardiac death (6.3% vs 15.3%, p = 0.042), composite cardiac outcome (23.4% vs 51.9%, p ≤0.001), and hospital admissions (10.4% vs 36.5%, p ≤0.001) when recommendations were followed. There was no statistical difference between the 2 groups when looking at noncardiac death, stroke, ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, non–ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, dialysis, or an emergency room visit.
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