Sunday, March 6, 2011

Evaluating chest pain in the office setting

While much medical literature has been devoted to the evaluation of chest pain in emergency room and acute care settings, relatively few tools have been published for evaluating chest pain in primary care offices. AFP's Deputy Editor for Evidence-Based Medicine, Mark Ebell, MD, MS, addresses this need in the March 1st issue of the journal with a Point-of-Care Guide that includes a five-item clinical decision rule to identify patients with chest pain caused by coronary artery disease. Dr. Ebell then provides a suggested algorithm for integrating decision rule results with ECG findings. Moderate- and high-risk patients should be evaluated further for coronary artery disease, while low-risk patients should generally be evaluated for noncardiac causes of chest pain.

You can find additional information about diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of coronary artery disease in the AFP By Topic collection, and more Point-of-Care Guides on a variety of clinical topics in the Department collection.