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    ABSTRACT: Most patients at low to intermediate risk for an acute coronary syndrome (ACS) receive a 12- to 24-hour "rule out." Recently, trials have found that a coronary computed tomographic angiography-based strategy is more efficient. If stress testing were performed within the same time frame as coronary computed tomographic angiography, the 2 strategies would be more similar. We tested the hypothesis that stress testing can safely be performed within several hours of presentation. We performed a retrospective cohort study of patients presenting to a university hospital from January 1, 2009, to December 31, 2011, with potential ACS. Patients placed in a clinical pathway that performed stress testing after 2 negative troponin values 2 hours apart were included. We excluded patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction or with an elevated initial troponin. The main outcome was safety of immediate stress testing defined as the absence of death or acute myocardial infarction (defined as elevated troponin within 24 hours after the test). A total of 856 patients who presented with potential ACS were enrolled in the clinical pathway and included in this study. Patients had a median age of 55.0 (interquartile range, 48-62) years. Chest pain was the chief concern in 86%, and pain was present on arrival in 73% of the patients. There were no complications observed during the stress test. There were 0 deaths (95% confidence interval, 0%-0.46%) and 4 acute myocardial infarctions within 24 hours (0.5%; 95% confidence interval, 0.14%-1.27%). The peak troponins were small (0.06, 0.07, 0.07, and 0.19 ng/mL). Patients who present to the ED with potential ACS can safely undergo a rapid diagnostic protocol with stress testing.
    The American journal of emergency medicine 10/2013; · 1.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Clinical symptoms are part of the risk stratification approaches used in the emergency department (ED) to evaluate patients with suspected acute coronary syndromes (ACS). The objective of this study was to determine the sensitivity, specificity, and predictive value of 13 symptoms for a discharge diagnosis of ACS in women and men. The sample included 736 patients admitted to 4 EDs with symptoms suggestive of ACS. Symptoms were assessed with the 13-item validated ACS Symptom Checklist. Mixed-effects logistic regression models were used to estimate sensitivity, specificity, and predictive value of each symptom for a diagnosis of ACS, adjusting for age, obesity, diabetes, and functional status. Patients were predominantly male (63%) and Caucasian (70.5%), with a mean age of 59.7±14.2 years. Chest pressure, chest discomfort, and chest pain demonstrated the highest sensitivity for ACS in both women (66%, 66%, and 67%) and men (63%, 69%, and 72%). Six symptoms were specific for a non-ACS diagnosis in both women and men. The predictive value of shoulder (odds ratio [OR]=2.53; 95% CI=1.29 to 4.96) and arm pain (OR 2.15; 95% CI=1.10 to 4.20) in women was nearly twice that of men (OR=1.11; 95% CI=0.67 to 1.85 and OR=1.21; 95% CI=0.74 to 1.99). Shortness of breath (OR=0.49; 95% CI=0.30 to 0.79) predicted a non-ACS diagnosis in men. There were more similarities than differences in symptom predictors of ACS for women and men.
    Journal of the American Heart Association. 03/2014; 3(2):e000586.
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    ABSTRACT: To explore disparities between non-Hispanic Blacks and non-Hispanic Whites presenting to the emergency department (ED) with potential acute coronary syndrome (ACS).
    Heart and Lung The Journal of Acute and Critical Care 07/2014; 43(4):270-277. · 1.32 Impact Factor

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