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HEART Score to Further Risk Stratify Patients With Low TIMI Scores

Marcoon, Shannon BA; Chang, Anna Marie MD; Lee, Betsy MD; Salhi, Rama MHS; Hollander, Judd E. MD

Critical Pathways in Cardiology: March 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 1 - p 1–5
doi: 10.1097/HPC.0b013e31827377e1
Original Articles

Objective: The ability to risk stratify patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) with potential acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is critical. The thrombolysis in myocardial infarction (TIMI) risk score can risk stratify ED patients with potential ACS but cannot identify patients safe for ED discharge. The symptom-based HEART score identifies very low-risk patients. Our hypothesis was that patients with a TIMI score of 0 or 1 may be stratified further with the HEART score to identify a group of patients at less than 1% risk of 30-day cardiovascular events.

Methods: We conducted a secondary analysis of a prospective cohort study in a tertiary care hospital ED. Patients with potential ACS who were >30 years of age were included. Data collected included demographics, history, electrocardiogram, laboratories, and components of the TIMI and HEART scores. Follow-up was conducted by structured record review and phone. The main outcome was a composite of death, acute myocardial infarction, or revascularization at 30 days.

Results: There were 8815 patients enrolled (mean age, 52.8 ± 15.1 years; 57% women, and 69% black). At 30 days, the composite event rate was 8.0% (660 patients): 108 deaths, 410 acute myocardial infarction, and 301 revascularizations. Of the 485 patients with both a TIMI score of 0 and a HEART score of 0, there were no cardiovascular events (95% confidence interval, 0–0.8%); but no other score combination had an upper limit confidence interval less than 1%.

Conclusion: At all levels of TIMI score, the HEART score was able to further substratify patients with respect to 30-day risk. A HEART score of 0 in a patient with a TIMI of 0 identified a group of patients at less than 1% risk for 30-day adverse events.

From the Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

Reprints: Judd E. Hollander, Department of Emergency Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Ground Ravdin, 3400 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19104, E-mail:

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.