What are the AHA/ACC class IIa recommendations for the evaluation of suspected acute coronary syndromes (ACSs)?

Updated: Oct 01, 2020
  • Author: Walter Tan, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Eric H Yang, MD  more...
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It is reasonable to give low-risk patients who are referred for outpatient testing daily aspirin, short-acting nitroglycerin, and other medication if appropriate (eg, beta blockers), with instructions about activity level and clinician follow-up. (Level of evidence: C)

Observe patients with symptoms consistent with ACS without objective evidence of myocardial ischemia (nonischemic initial ECG and normal cardiac troponin) in a chest pain unit or telemetry unit with serial ECGs and cardiac troponin levels at 3- to 6-hour intervals. (Level of evidence: B)

For patients with possible ACS who have normal serial ECGs and cardiac troponin levels, it is reasonable to obtain a treadmill ECG (level of evidence: A), stress myocardial perfusion imaging, or stress echocardiography before discharge or within 72 hours after discharge (level of evidence: B).

In patients with possible ACS and a normal ECG, normal cardiac troponin levels, and no history of coronary artery disease (CAD), it is reasonable to initially perform (without serial ECGs and troponin levels) coronary computed tomography angiography to assess coronary artery anatomy (level of evidence: A) or rest myocardial perfusion imaging with a technetium-99m radiopharmaceutical to exclude myocardial ischemia (level of evidence: B).

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