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December 4, 2002

Chest Pain Triage—Another Step Forward

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Division of Cardiovascular Diseases and Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

JAMA. 2002;288(21):2745-2746. doi:10.1001/jama.288.21.2745

More than 6 million patients in the United States present to emergency departments (EDs) each year with chest pain or other symptoms suggestive of myocardial ischemia.1 The challenge for the family practitioner, general internist, emergency physician, or cardiologist is to rapidly evaluate such patients and to accurately identify those at highest risk, thereby appropriately using hospitalization and urgent therapy, while expeditiously discharging those who do not require hospitalization. The principal tools currently available to physicians are the clinical history, acute electrocardiogram, and measurement of biochemical cardiac markers.

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