Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester LE3 9QP, United Kingdom; NIHR Leicester Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Centre, University Hospitals of Leicester Glenfield Hospital, Leicester LE3 9QP, United Kingdom; Department of Cardiology, Glenfield Hospital, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester, UK. Electronic address: [Email]
BACKGROUND : The Rapid Access Chest Pain Clinic (RACPC) has become an important means of assessing patients who present with ischaemic or ischaemia-like symptoms of recent onset. Observations have shown that up to 70% are discharged with a diagnosis of non-anginal chest pain (NACP) and accordingly "reassured". This study aims to describe the actual clinical outcomes of this cohort of patients discharged from the RACPC. METHODS : We undertook a single centre retrospective cohort study at a tertiary cardiac hospital. The outcomes of unselected patients diagnosed with NACP and discharged from the RACPC between April 2010 and March 2013 at University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL) were recorded. Re-referrals to cardiology outpatient clinic and emergency hospital admissions for cardiovascular disease within 6 months, and the mortality rate at 12 months, were determined. RESULTS : 7066 patients were seen in the UHL RACPC during the 36-month period. 3253 (46.0%) were diagnosed with NACP and discharged. 7 (0.2%) were diagnosed with coronary artery disease (CAD) and 8 (0.25%) cases of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) identified during the review period. 11 (0.3%) patients died within 12 months of discharge from RACPC. No deaths were attributable to CAD. CONCLUSIONS : Comprehensive assessment using risk-stratification criteria in a nurse practitioner-led RACPC can accurately identify patients who are at low-risk for subsequent CAD. Despite contemporary National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines that shift focus away from a clinical judgement based approach, this strategy appears to robustly predict favourable outcomes in patients diagnosed with NACP.