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Risk stratification of patients with acute chest pain and normal troponin concentrations
  1. J Sanchis,
  2. V Bodí,
  3. Á Llácer,
  4. J Núñez,
  5. L Consuegra,
  6. M J Bosch,
  7. V Bertomeu,
  8. V Ruiz,
  9. F J Chorro
  1. Servei de Cardiologia, Hospital Clínic Universitari, Valencia, Spain
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr J Sanchis
    Servei de Cardiologia, Hospital Clínic Universitari, Blasco Ibáñez 17, 46010 Valencia, Spain;


Objective: To investigate the outcome of patients with acute chest pain and normal troponin concentrations.

Design: Prospective cohort design.

Setting: Single centre study in a teaching hospital in Spain.

Patients: 609 consecutive patients with chest pain evaluated in the emergency department by clinical history (risk factors and a chest pain score according to pain characteristics), ECG, and early (< 24 hours) exercise testing for low risk patients with physical capacity (n  =  283, 46%). All had normal troponin concentrations after serial determination.

Main outcome measures: Myocardial infarction or cardiac death during six months of follow up.

Results: 29 events were detected (4.8%). No patient with a negative early exercise test (n  =  161) had events versus the 6.9% event rate in the remaining patients (p  =  0.0001). Four independent predictors were found: chest pain score ⩾ 11 points (odds ratio (OR) 2.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.1 to 5.5, p  =  0.04), diabetes mellitus (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.1 to 4.7, p  =  0.03), previous coronary surgery (OR 3.1, 95% CI 1.3 to 7.6, p  =  0.01), and ST segment depression (OR 2.8, 95% CI 1.3 to 6.3, p  =  0.003). A risk score proved useful for patient stratification according to the presence of 0–1 (2.7% event rate), 2 (10.2%, p  =  0.008), and 3–4 predictors (29.2%, p  =  0.0001).

Conclusions: A negative troponin result does not assure a good prognosis for patients coming to the emergency room with chest pain. Early exercise testing and clinical data should be carefully evaluated for risk stratification.

  • prognosis
  • troponin
  • unstable angina

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