This clinical policy focuses on critical issues in the evaluation and management of patients with acute myocardial infarction or unstable angina. A MEDLINE search for articles published between January 1993 and December 1998 was performed using combinations of the key words chest pain, acute myocardial infarction, unstable angina, thrombolytics, primary angioplasty, 12-lead ECG, ST-segment monitoring, cardiac serum markers, and chest pain centers. Subcommittee members and expert peer reviewers also supplied articles with direct bearing on the policy. This policy focuses on 5 areas of current interest and/or controversy: (1) ECG eligibility criteria for fibrinolytic therapy, (2) role of primary angioplasty in patients with acute myocardial infarction, (3) use of serum markers to diagnose acute myocardial infarction, (4) serial 12-lead ECGs during the initial evaluation, and (5) chest pain evaluation units. Recommendations for patient management are provided for each of these 5 topics based on strength of evidence (Standards, Guidelines, Options). Standards represent patient management principles that reflect a high degree of clinical certainty; Guidelines represent patient management principles that reflect moderate clinical certainty; and Options represent other patient management strategies based on preliminary, inconclusive, or conflicting evidence, or based on panel consensus. This guideline is intended for physicians working in hospital-based emergency departments or chest pain evaluation units.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine