Objectives: This study sought to evaluate if an undetectable (<5 ng/l) high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT) level and an electrocardiogram (ECG) without signs of ischemia can rule out myocardial infarction (MI) in the emergency department (ED).
Background: Chest pain is a common symptom often associated with benign conditions, but may be a sign of MI. Because there is no rapid way to rule out MI, many patients are admitted to the hospital.
Methods: All patients who sought medical attention for chest pain and had at least 1 hs-cTnT analyzed during 2 years at the Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden, were included. We calculated the negative predictive values of an undetectable hs-cTnT and ECG without ischemia for MI and death within 30 days.
Results: We included 14,636 patients, of whom 8,907 (61%) had an initial hs-cTnT of <5 ng/l; 21% had 5 to 14 ng/l, and 18% had >14 ng/l. During 30-day follow-up, 39 (0.44%) patients with undetectable hs-cTnT had a MI, of whom 15 (0.17%) had no ischemic ECG changes. The negative predictive value for MI within 30 days in patients with undetectable hs-cTnT and no ischemic ECG changes was 99.8% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 99.7 to 99.9). The negative predictive value for death was 100% (95% CI: 99.9 to 100).
Conclusions: All patients with chest pain who have an initial hs-cTnT level of <5 ng/l and no signs of ischemia on an ECG have a minimal risk of MI or death within 30 days, and can be safely discharged directly from the ED.
Keywords: chest pain; emergency department; high-sensitivity troponin; myocardial infarction.
Copyright © 2014 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.