American Society of Nuclear Cardiology

View all recommendations from this society

Released April 4, 2012

Don’t perform cardiac imaging as a pre-operative assessment in patients scheduled to undergo low- or intermediate- risk non-cardiac surgery.

Non-invasive testing is not useful for patients undergoing low-risk non-cardiac surgery or with no cardiac symptoms or clinical risk factors undergoing intermediate-risk non-cardiac surgery. These types of testing do not change the patient’s clinical management or outcomes and will result in increased costs. Therefore, it is not appropriate to perform cardiac imaging procedures for non-cardiac surgery risk assessment in patients with no cardiac symptoms, clinical risk factors or who have moderate to good functional capacity.

These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

How The List Was Created

The American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) appointed a writing group of content experts to identify five areas in which to make recommendations. Areas were selected for the evidence-based data available to direct provider decision-making and the potential for improving patient selection and care by eliminating inappropriate testing. Specific recommendations were drafted for each subject area, accompanied by peer-reviewed literature citations. These recommendations were reviewed by the ASNC Quality Assurance Committee and Board of Directors prior to submission to the Choosing Wisely campaign. ASNC’s disclosure and conflict of interest policy can be found at


Hendel RC, Berman DS, Di Carli MF, Heidenreich PA, Henkin RE, Pellikka PA, Pohost GM, Williams KA. ACCF/ASNC/ACR/AHA/ASE/SCCT/SCMR/SNM 2009 appropriate use criteria for cardiac radionuclide imaging: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation Appropriate Use Criteria Task Force, the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, the American College of Radiology, the American Heart Association, the American Society of Echocardiography, the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography, the Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, and the Society of Nuclear Medicine. J Am Coll Cardiol 2009;53:2201–29.

Fleisher LA, Beckman JA, Brown KA, Calkins H, Chaikof EL, Fleischmann KE, Freeman WK, Froehlich JB, Kasper EK, Kersten JR, Riegel B, Robb JF. ACC/AHA 2007 guidelines on perioperative cardiovascular evaluation and care for noncardiac surgery: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task force on Practice Guidelines (Writing Committee to Revise the 2002 Guidelines on Perioperative Cardiovascular Evaluation for Noncardiac Surgery). J Am Coll Cardiol 2007;50:e159-242.