Cardiovascular Risk Management With Liaison Critical Path in Japan: Its Effects on Implementation of Evidence-Based Prevention in Practice

Morihiro Matsuda, Manami Akizuki, Orie Nishimoto, Kei Nakamoto, Hirohiko Nishiyama, Ritsu Tamura, Toshiharu Kawamoto


Background: Liaison critical paths (LCPs) for coronary artery disease (CAD) were developed to support collaborative care for CAD patients between cardiologists in emergency hospitals and referring physicians through sharing of medical information, including cardioprotective medications and cardiovascular risk factors. However, little is known about the effects of LCPs in practice.

Methods: We conducted an observational study of CAD patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention in our hospital between September 2007 and June 2010; these patients were managed with an LCP by referring physicians after discharge. We surveyed implementation of scheduled hospital visits, prescription of cardioprotective medicines, and risk factor measurements 6 and 12 months after discharge.

Results: Implementation rate of hospital visits was significantly elevated from 50.7% to 89.3% after establishing LCPs. At the 12-month visit, prescription rates for anti-platelet drugs, statins, beta-blockers, and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin II type I receptor blockers were 99.7%, 95.0%, 77.1%, and 74.3%, respectively. Target achievement rates for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C; < 100 mg/dL) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C; >= 40 mg/dL) significantly increased from 48.6% to 64.5% and 62.0% to 82.7%, respectively, while those for body mass index (BMI; < 25 kg/m2), blood pressure (< 130/80 mmHg), triglycerides (< 150 mg/dL), and HbA1c (< 7.0 %) were unchanged. BMI, triglycerides, HDL-C, LDL-C, and HbA1c levels significantly improved in patients who implemented all visits. Moreover, risk factor management did not differ significantly between cardiologists and non-cardiologists using LCPs.

Conclusion: LCPs for CAD may facilitate implementation of optimal medical therapy and target achievement of risk factors in practice.



Liaison critical path; Coronary artery disease; Cardiovascular prevention; Risk factors; Clinical practice

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