Stress testing for risk stratification of patients with low to moderate probability of acute cardiac ischemia

Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2001 Feb;19(1):87-103. doi: 10.1016/s0733-8627(05)70169-3.


In summary, this article focused on the use of stress testing to risk-stratify patients at the conclusion of their emergency evaluation for ACI. As discussed, those patients in the probably not ACI category require additional risk stratification prior to discharge. It should be kept in mind that patients in this category are heterogeneous, containing subgroups at both higher and lower risk of ACI and cardiac events. The patients with lower pretest probability for ACI may only need exercise testing in the ED. Patients with higher pretest probability should undergo myocardial perfusion or echocardiographic stress testing to maximize diagnostic and prognostic information. Prognostic information is the key to provocative testing in the ED. Prognostic information is the component that will help emergency physicians identify the patients who may be discharged home safely without having to worry about a 6% annual cardiac death rate and a 10% overall death rate over the next 30 months. Stress testing provides this key prognostic data, and it can be obtained in short-stay chest pain observation units in a safe, timely, and cost-effective fashion.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Emergency Medicine / methods
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Exercise Test / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnosis
  • Myocardial Ischemia / diagnosis*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Probability
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Severity of Illness Index