Outcomes after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) are not superior when performed in U.S. hospitals ranked as “best” in a prominent national rating system as compared with nonranked hospitals, according to results of a recent retrospective analysis.

Rates of in-hospital mortality, acute kidney injury, and bleeding were similar for hospitals in the 2015 U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals” rankings and nonranked hospitals, Devraj Sukul, MD , reported at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions.

“These findings should reassure patients that safe and appropriate PCI is being performed across the country,” said Dr. Sukul of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

The findings, published simultaneously (JACC Cardiovasc Interv. 2017 Nov 12. doi: 10.1016/j.jcin.2017.10.042 ) were based on a retrospective analysis of PCIs documented in the National Cardiovascular Data Registry CathPCI Registry.

Dr. Sukul and his colleagues limited their analysis to hospitals that both participated in that registry and performed at least 400 PCIs during July 2014–June 2015. That narrowed it down to 654 hospitals, including 44 out of the 50 hospitals ranked by U.S. News & World Report in 2015.

A total of 509,153 PCIs were performed over the 1-year study period, including 55,550 (10.9%) performed at the top-ranked hospitals.

After adjusting for patient risk, there was no difference in post-PCI in-hospital mortality between top-ranked and nonranked hospitals investigators reported (adjusted odds ratio, 0.96; P = .64).

There were also no differences in acute kidney injury (adjusted OR, 1.10; P = .1) or bleeding (adjusted OR, 1.15; P = .052) for top-ranked vs. nonranked hospitals, according to investigators.

In addition, top-ranked hospitals had a “slightly lower proportion” of appropriate PCI, Dr. Sukul reported.

Though rates of appropriate PCI were relatively high in both groups, odds of appropriate PCI were nevertheless significantly higher at nonranked hospitals (89.2% for ranked and 92.8% for nonranked hospitals; P less than .001).

Appropriate PCIs – those based on evidence-based indications – have been increasingly emphasized over the past decade.

Although some recent reports suggest hospital-level appropriateness may not necessarily correlate with clinical outcomes, Dr. Sukul remarked, “we believe that PCI appropriateness is an important indicator of quality, serving as a measure of physician decision-making when faced with treating the vast array of coronary artery disease presentations.”

Dr. Sukul is supported by a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral research training grant.


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