Author(s): Kontos MC
Patients presenting to the emergency department with chest pain are a common and perplexing problem. Because of the limitations of the initial evaluation, most patients are admitted, although many are found to have noncardiac causes of their symptoms. Recognition of these limitations has driven the investigation of newer evaluation techniques and protocols in an attempt to improve diagnostic sensitivity without increasing overall costs. These have included modifications of the standard electrocardiogram and use of newer myocardial markers of necrosis, such as mass assays for CK-MB as well as troponin T and troponin I. Use of acute rest myocardial perfusion imaging also has been shown to be a highly valuable technique for risk stratification of the intermediate- to low-risk chest pain patient.