Usefulness of Predischarge Cardiac Testing in Low Risk Women and Men for Safe, Rapid Discharge from a Chest Pain Unit

Stacey J. Howell, Pooja Prasad, Navya S. Vipparla, Sandhya Venugopal, Ezra A. Amsterdam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Predischarge cardiac testing (PDT) in low-risk patients evaluated for acute coronary syndrome in a chest pain unit (CPU) remains a challenge. It is unclear whether PDT varies by gender. We analyzed consecutive low-risk women and men evaluated in our CPU over a 2-year period and compared the utilization of PDT (exercise treadmill test, myocardial stress perfusion scintigraphy, exercise stress echocardiography, invasive coronary angiography, or no test), and incidence of major adverse cardiac events (MACE) at 30days and 6 months. The study group comprised 619 patients (54% women). A large proportion of both genders did not undergo PDT, although this finding was more frequent in women (50% women vs 40% men, p = 0.01). At 30 days, there were no MACE in either gender. After 6 months of follow-up, MACE remained very low in both women and men (2 [1%] vs 2 [1%]), and in patients who did and did not receive PDT (2 [1%] vs 2 [1%]). Mean length of stay in the CPU was 5.4 hours in patients without PDT and 9.8 hours in those with PDT (p <0.0001) without altering postdischarge MACE. When referred for PDT, women more often underwent myocardial stress perfusion scintigraphy than men (22% vs 14%, p = 0.005) and less often received exercise treadmill test (20% vs 39%, p <0.0001). Yield of abnormal PDT was low in both women and men although it was lower in women (1% vs 5%, p = 0.02). In conclusion, many low-risk women and men evaluated in a CPU for acute coronary syndrome can be safely and rapidly discharged without PDT and with low risk for MACE at 30days and at 6 months. Exclusion of PDT was associated with significantly reduced length of stay while maintaining safety in terms of postdischarge MACE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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