Societies Release First Appropriate Use Criteria for Pediatric Heart Disease

Contact: Rachel Cagan,, 202-375-6395

WASHINGTON (Sept. 29, 2014) — The American College of Cardiology, along with eight partnering societies, released today the first appropriate use criteria for suspected heart disease in pediatric patients. 
The 2014 Appropriate Use Criteria for Initial Transthoracic Echocardiography in Outpatient Pediatric Cardiology was developed in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Heart Association, American Society of Echocardiography, Heart Rhythm Society, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography, Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, and Society of Pediatric Echocardiography. 

“The purpose of the new criteria is to improve patient care and outcomes in a cost-effective manner,” said Robert Campbell, MD, chief of the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Sibley Heart Center, Professor of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine, and chair of the writing committee. “This document will also help to improve quality within practices.”

The writing group identified 113 indications for outpatient pediatric echocardiography based on common clinical scenarios and/or clinical practice guidelines. An independent rating panel then evaluated each indication as “Appropriate,” “May Be Appropriate,” or “Rarely Appropriate.” Dr. Campbell stressed that the paper will help to reduce the rate of “Rarely Appropriate” echocardiograms in this patient population.  

“The goal is to familiarize both pediatricians and pediatric cardiologists when echocardiography may help a physician elucidate a quicker diagnosis and when other diagnostic pathways may be more useful,” added Dr. Campbell. “For example, the writing committee spent a lot of time on the importance of recognizing when an echocardiogram may or may not be needed for a murmur. Much of the determination lies with the auscultation skills of the physician and the writing committee wanted to encourage pediatricians not to immediately order an echo, especially for innocent sounding murmurs.”

The full paper will publish online today on the websites of the American College of Cardiology (, American Society of Echocardiography ( and Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (      

ACC: Rachel Cagan,, 202.375.6395
AAP: Debbie Jacobson,, 847.434.7084
AHA: Darcy Spitz,, 212.878.5940
ASE: Andie Piddington,, 919.297.7151
HRS: Kennesha Baldwin,, 202.464.3476
SCAI:  Kathy Boyd David,, 717.422.1181 
SCCT: Anna Leong,, 703.766.1706
SCMR: Deborah Berkowitz,, 856.423.7222 ext: 270
About the American College of Cardiology
The mission of the American College of Cardiology is to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health. The College is a 47,000-member medical society comprised of physicians, surgeons, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists and practice managers. The College is a leader in the formulation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The ACC provides professional education, operates national registries to measure and improve quality of care, disseminates cardiovascular research, and bestows credentials upon cardiovascular specialists who meet stringent qualifications. For more information, visit
About the American Academy of Pediatrics
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 62,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of our offices around the country.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About the American Society of Echocardiography
As the largest global organization for cardiovascular ultrasound imaging, the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) is the leader and advocate in setting practice standards and guidelines.  Comprised of over 16,000 physicians, sonographers, nurses, and scientists, ASE is a strong voice providing guidance, expertise, and education to its members with a commitment to improving the practice and imaging of the heart and cardiovascular system for better patient outcomes.  For more information about ASE, visit or ASE’s public information site, 
About the Heart Rhythm Society
The Heart Rhythm Society is the international leader in science, education and advocacy for cardiac arrhythmia professionals and patients, and the primary information resource on heart rhythm disorders. Its mission is to improve the care of patients by promoting research, education and optimal health care policies and standards. Incorporated in 1979 and based in Washington, DC, it has a membership of more than 5,800 heart rhythm professionals in more than 72 countries around the world. For more information, visit                                                  
About the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions 
The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions is a 4,000-member professional organization representing invasive and interventional cardiologists in approximately 70 nations. SCAI's mission is to promote excellence in invasive/interventional cardiovascular medicine through physician education and representation, and advancement of quality standards to enhance patient care. SCAI's public education program, SecondsCount, offers comprehensive information about cardiovascular disease. For more information about SCAI and SecondsCount, visit or Follow @SCAI and @SCAINews on Twitter for the latest heart health news.  
About the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography
(SCCT) is the professional society devoted exclusively to cardiovascular computed tomography (CCT).  SCCT is acknowledged and recognized as the representative and advocate for research, education, and clinical excellence in the use of cardiovascular computed tomography.  For more information on the society's mission and goals, please see the SCCT Website at:


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