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Emerg Med Pract. 2020 Jan;22(1):1-24. Epub 2020 Jan 1.

Emergency department management of non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction

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Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
Assistant Professor Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, Baltimore, MD


Chest pain is the second most common complaint in emergency departments, with 6.4 million visits annually in the United States. A quarter of these patients will be diagnosed with acute coronary syndromes, but among those, nearly half will have nondiagnostic electrocardiograms. Non–ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) is twice as common as ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), and lack of clarity surrounding the best management of this condition can contribute to adverse outcomes. In this review, current national management guidelines for NSTEMI are summarized as they pertain to the ED, and the evidence base supporting them is considered. Issues surrounding special patient populations are addressed, and new diagnostic and therapeutic modalities are discussed.


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