While different imaging and treatment options are available in acute coronary syndrome (ACS) care, there is a lack of data regarding their use across Europe. We examined the diagnostic and treatment strategies in patients with known or suspected ACS as reported by physicians and identified variations in responses across European countries and geographical areas.
A web-based clinician survey focusing on ACS imaging and revascularization treatments was circulated through email distribution lists and websites of European professional societies in the field of cardiology. We collected information on respondents’ clinical setting and specialty. Reported percentages of patients receiving imaging or treatment modalities and percentages of clinicians reporting to use modalities in a range of clinical scenarios were analyzed. Statistical comparisons were performed.
In total, 69 responses were received (Sweden [n = 20], United Kingdom [n = 16], Northern/Western Europe [n = 17], Southern Europe [n = 9], and Central Europe [n = 7]). Considerable variations between geographical areas were seen in terms of reported diagnostic modalities and treatment strategies. For example, when presented with the scenario of a theoretical 45-year-old smoking female with a suspected ACS, 56% of UK clinicians reported to use coronary computed tomography angiography, compared to only 10% of Swedish clinicians (P = .002). Large variations were observed regarding the reported use of fractional flow reserve by physicians for non-culprit lesions during invasive management of myocardial infarction patients (44% in Sweden, 31% in the United Kingdom, and 30% in Northern/Western Europe vs non-use in Central and Southern Europe).
In this survey, respondents reported different diagnostic and treatment strategies in ACS care. These variations seem to have geographic components. Larger studies or real world data are needed to verify these observations and investigate their causes. More research is needed to compare the quality and efficiency of ACS care across countries and explore pathways for improvement.

© 2020 The Authors. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.