Incidence and predictors of acute coronary syndrome within a year following a negative stress test—a false sense of security: is routine screening any useful?
One of the major issues in management of the acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is classification of patients with atypical presentation who have low risk of having a coronary episode at presentation. There have been multiple studies on the stratification of high risk patients and medical management of such cases, however, there is a sub-class of patients who do not fit any category. In this paper, we have looked at the current literature on stratification of patients based on the study tools available and the risk of having a coronary episode during the following year. In our overview, we have found that the current methods in place namely, cardiac stress test and stress echocardiogram have a good prognostic factor in terms of mortality in the next one year and can safely stratify the patients at low risk when correlated with clinical presentation and laboratory studies. However, such data are limited for computerized tomography or magnetic resonant imaging and their application might be limited due to accessibility and cost of studies. Current guidelines for classification of high risk patient do an excellent job and we believe that proper application of stress tests together with other imaging modalities together with laboratory, clinical judgment, and proper use of medical management can help with safe discharge of patients from the emergency department (ED) and reduction of burden from healthcare.