Objective To describe the investigation and management of patients admitted to hospitals in China with suspected ACS and to identify evidence-practice gaps.
Design A multi-centre prospective survey of sociodemographic characteristics, medical history, clinical features, in-hospital investigations, treatment practices and major events among patients with suspected ACS.
Setting Large urban public hospitals.
Patients Consecutive patients admitted to in-patient facilities with a diagnosis of suspected acute myocardial infarction (MI) or unstable angina pectoris.
Main outcome measures Myocardial infarction/re-infarction, heart failure, death.
Results Between September 2004 and May 2005, data were collected prospectively from 2973 patients admitted to 51 hospitals in 18 provinces of China. An initial diagnosis of ST elevation myocardial infarction, non-ST elevation MI and unstable angina was made in 43%, 11% and 46% of patients, respectively. Diagnosis was inconsistent with objective measures in up to 20% of cases. At both tertiary and non-tertiary centres, there was little evidence that clinical risk stratification was used to determine the intensity of investigation and management. The mortality rate during hospitalisation was 5% overall and similar in tertiary and non-tertiary centres, but reported in-hospital re-infarction rates (8%) and heart failure rates (16%) were substantially higher at non-tertiary centres.
Conclusions The CPACS study has identified a number of areas in the management of ACS patients, including diagnosis and risk stratification, which deviate from current guidelines. These findings will help inform the introduction of widely used quality improvement initiatives such as clinical pathways.
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