Identification of patients at low risk presenting to the emergency department with chest pain is a continuing challenge. We examined a cohort of low-risk women with negative cardiac injury markers, electrocardiogram with normal results, and clinical stability. We hypothesized that these patients can be safely and accurately managed in a chest pain unit (CPU), may not require predischarge cardiac testing, and have an excellent short-term prognosis. The primary end point was major cardiovascular events during index admission or follow-up. Mean age of the 403 women was 42 ± 4.3 years (30 to 50 years). No patient had a cardiovascular event in the CPU, and none of the 321 patients followed for 6 months had a late cardiovascular event. Most (211, 52%) did not receive predischarge cardiac testing. The remaining 192 patients (48%) had predischarge exercise treadmill test, stress imaging, or cardiac catheterization. Of those patients who underwent treadmill testing, almost 90% had no exercise-induced chest pain and approximately 50% had functional capacity 8 to 14 METs. In addition, 166 patients (41%) were discharged from the CPU after <2 hours and 21% (n = 86) within 2 to 8 hours. In conclusion, this group of low-risk women was safely and accurately managed in the CPU and discharged promptly. There were no cardiac events on index admission or 6-month follow-up, and in most patients, predischarge cardiac testing was unnecessary.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine