June 27, 2005
Determining Prognosis in Patients with Chest Pain now Easier, More Accurate
A new, more precise test is available to improve the accuracy of detecting coronary artery disease and risk of heart attack, and can be done right at the bedside.
Physicians in emergency departments are challenged in diagnosing the cause and risk factors of chest pain in their patients. Now, using real-time myocardial contrast echocardiography (RTMCE), a type of ultrasound, physicians are able to rapidly and accurately detect coronary artery disease - a risk factor that leads to heart attacks.
This study, from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and supported by a local grant (Hubbard Foundation), performed dobutamine stress echoes in 158 patients presenting with chest pain and possible acute coronary syndrome using the RTMCE test method. They found that perfusion imaging was better than wall motion analysis during dobutamine stress echo for detecting coronary artery disease and predicting patient outcome.
This study suggests that by using this non-invasive method of determining the prognosis for patients with unexplained chest pain, patients can be set on the proper course for long-term survival.
On the World Wide Web: