Cardiac Testing is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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Emergency Central

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Basics

Description

  • Cardiac testing is indicated for emergency patients at risk for heart failure (HF) or acute coronary syndrome (ACS).
  • These pathologies may be thought of as a spectrum: Unstable angina can evolve into MI, which in turn can cause HF:
    • ∼20% of ED malpractice claims are due to missed diagnosis of ACS.
    • ∼2% of patients with ACS are inappropriately discharged from an ED.
    • History, physical exam, and ECG are the critical elements in working up chest pain and ACS/HF.
    • History, physical, and ECG nevertheless miss 1–4% of all heart attacks.
    • Additional tools include imaging modalities and blood tests (e.g., cardiac biomarkers).

Etiology

ACS is caused by atherosclerotic narrowing of coronary vessels or by coronary vasospasm.
Pregnancy Considerations
In the pregnant patient with chest pain and ischemic changes on ECG, also consider spontaneous coronary artery dissection.

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Citation

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TY - ELEC T1 - Cardiac Testing ID - 307166 Y1 - 2016 PB - 5-Minute Emergency Consult UR - https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307166/all/Cardiac_Testing ER -