Cardiologists discussing a recent study that concluded echocardiography is widely overused said it fails to consider the difficult-to-measure savings that echo provides, such as in cases when it prevents a needless trip to the cath lab, even though by the study's definition, there is no change in treatment. In such a case, cost and risk savings are clear, said Dr. Eugene Sherman. Lead researcher Dr. Susan Matulevicius offered some context: "I still think that echo is an extraordinarily important test, and I think it gives you a lot of information relatively quickly with very little risk to the patient, but I think that's also where it can be overused, because it's so low-risk."

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