Clinical investigations from the RACP

Investigating the patient with cardiac chest pain

Clinical investigations from the RACP

Investigating the patient with cardiac chest pain

Jane McCrohon, Camilla Wainwright

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Abstract

In any patient presenting with chest pain there is a need for a thorough history and assessment of whether the patient is at low, intermediate or high risk for acute coronary syndrome. This will in turn determine the most appropriate pathway of investigation and management.

Key Points

  • The diagnosis and investigation of the patient with chest pain can be challenging.
  • The early identification of a patient with acute coronary syndrome or other sinister causes for chest pain, such as aortic dissection or pulmonary embolism, is important to allow early intervention and treatment.
  • Risk stratification of any patient with chest pain aids in the decision for investigations.
  • Patients without cardiac causes for chest pain but with adverse risk factor profiles can be recommended for risk factor modification.