Choosing appropriate tests for heart failure

The 10 GPs on the panel considered 540 clinical scenarios. These scenarios contained different combinations of common symptoms, such as breathlessness, with other variables such as cardiovascular risk, clinical signs and ECG findings.

The panel had to decide if the patients needed no further investigations or required echocardiography or measurement of natriuretic peptide. They rated the appropriateness of the decision for each scenario.

There was a high level of agreement amongst the GPs. They only disagreed on what to do in 42 of the scenarios.

In many scenarios echocardiography and natriuretic peptide