OBJECTIVE: To determine the sensitivity and specificity of initial clinical assessment about the diagnosis of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) in patients presenting with acute chest pain by a cardiology resident in the emergency room and assess the 30-day outcome of patients with ACS and non ACS.
STUDY DESIGN: Cohort study.
PLACE AND DURATION OF STUDY: The study was conducted in the emergency department and cardiac care units of the Aga Khan University in 2006-07.
METHODOLOGY: A total of 202 patients, who presented to the emergency room with chest pain, were given an initial ECG and troponin check. Patients were assigned to initial ACS and non-ACS groups by the cardiology resident. After cardiac workup, patients were assigned to final ACS/final non ACS group. They were followed for outcome after 30 days of initial presentation. Sensitivity and specificity, if initial workup was determined, keeping final assessment after cardiac workup as the gold standard.
RESULTS: Out of the 202 patients, 61.9% were males. Their mean age was 54.05+13 years. Sixty eight percent were placed in the initial ACS group and 30.7% were placed in the initial non ACS group. After workup, 36% were placed in the final ACS group and 28.7% in the final non-ACS group and 35% were undecided. The sensitivity of initial assessment of ACS by the cardiology resident was 100%. However, the specificity was 54.2%. In the 30-day outcome, one patient (1.3%) died in the ACS group due to myocardial ischemia while no patient died from the non ACS group.
CONCLUSION: Initial assessment about ACS by cardiology resident based on character of chest pain, ECG and troponin I is highly sensitive. However, the specificity is low.
Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan
(2010). Emergency evaluation of acute chest pain. Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan, 20(2), 74-8.
Available at: http://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_fhs_mc_med_cardiol/8