Ultrasound Assisted Evaluation of Chest Pain in the Emergency Department

Am J Emerg Med. 2018 Apr;36(4):533-539. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2017.09.003. Epub 2017 Sep 8.


Chest pain is a commonly encountered emergency department complaint, with a broad differential including several life-threatening possible conditions. Ultrasound-assisted evaluation can potentially be used to rapidly and accurately arrive at the correct diagnosis. We propose an organized, ultrasound assisted evaluation of the patient with chest pain using a combination of ultrasound, echocardiography and clinical parameters. Basic echo techniques which can be mastered by residents in a short time are used plus standardized clinical questions and examination. Information is kept on a checklist. We hypothesize that this will result in a quicker, more accurate evaluation of chest pain in the ED leading to timely treatment and disposition of the patient, less provider anxiety, a reduction in the number of diagnostic errors, and the removal of false assumptions from the diagnostic process.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Chest Pain / diagnosis*
  • Diagnostic Errors
  • Echocardiography, Doppler, Color* / history
  • Echocardiography, Doppler, Color* / standards
  • Electrocardiography
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency Service, Hospital*
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Physical Examination
  • Point-of-Care Systems / standards*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity