Chest Pain Evaluation in the Emergency Department: Risk Scores and High-Sensitivity Cardiac Troponin

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Current cardiology reports


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: As many as 10 million patients present annually to the emergency department in the USA with symptoms concerning for acute myocardial infarction. The use of risk scores for patients with chest pain or equivalent without ST-segment elevation on the electrocardiogram. The adaptation in the USA of high sensitivity troponin assays requires rethinking of how to best optimize troponin testing within a risk score.

RECENT FINDINGS: Patients are risk stratified using a combination of validated risk scores, biomarkers, and both noninvasive and invasive testing. The advent of high-sensitivity troponins has served to augment existing risk scores in the identification of low-risk patients for early discharge, as well as led to the introduction of new rapid rule-out protocols by which acute myocardial infarction can be excluded by biomarker evaluation more quickly. The emergence of machine learning algorithms may further enhance provider's ability to quickly diagnose or exclude myocardial infarction in the emergency department. The addition of high sensitive troponin assays to established emergency department risk scores is providing new opportunities to improve the timeliness and accuracy of the evaluation of patients presenting with a possible myocardial infarction. Utilizing the time between troponin measures as a variable combined with clinical risk factors with new algorithms may further serve to improve diagnostic accuracy.

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