The emergency department evaluation for suspected acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is common, costly, and challenging. Risk scores may help standardize clinical care and screening for research studies. The Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) and HEART are two commonly cited risk scores. We tested the null hypothesis that the TIMI and HEART risk scores have equivalent test characteristics.
We analyzed data from the Internet Tracking Registry of Acute Coronary Syndromes (i*trACS) from 9 EDs on patients with suspected ACS, 1999–2001. We excluded patients with an emergency department diagnosis consistent with ACS, or without sufficient data to calculate TIMI and HEART scores. The primary outcome was 30-day major adverse cardiovascular events, including all-cause death, acute myocardial infarction, and urgent revascularization. We describe test characteristics of the TIMI and HEART risk scores.
The study cohort included 8255 patients with 508 (6.2%) 30-day major adverse cardiovascular events. Receiver operating curve and reclassification analyses favored HEART [c statistic: 0.753, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.733–0.773; continuous net reclassification improvement: 0.608, 95% CI: 0.527–0.689] over TIMI (c statistic: 0.678, 95% CI: 0.655–0.702). A HEART score 0–3 [negative predictive value (NPV) 0.982, 95% CI: 0.978–0.986; positive predictive value (PPV) 0.103, 95% CI: 0.094–0.113; likelihood ratio (LR) positive 1.76; LR negative 0.28] demonstrates similar or superior NPV/PPV/LR compared with TIMI = 0 (NPV 0.978, 95% CI: 0.971–0.983; PPV 0.077, 95% CI: 0.071–0.084; LR positive 1.28; LR negative 0.35) and TIMI = 0–1 (NPV 0.963, 95% CI: 0.958–0.968; PPV 0.102, 95% CI: 0.092–0.113; LR positive 1.73; LR negative 0.58).
The HEART score has better discrimination than TIMI and outperforms TIMI within previously published “low-risk” categories.