The Particulars: Previous research suggests that performing single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) during or shortly after chest pain cessation can aid triage decisions. Little is known about the use of this approach in the “real-world” ED.

Data Breakdown: For a study, patients presenting to the ED with ongoing or recently resolved acute chest pain underwent SPECT imaging. The study group had an intermediate probability or lower of myocardial ischemia. Results were normal for 90% of patients, and 80% were discharged from the ED. The average time from SPECT referral to discharge was 3.5 hours. Admitted patients were more likely to have abnormal SPECT results, positive troponin I, proven pulmonary embolism, or ongoing symptoms.

Take Home Pearls: SPECT imaging of acute chest pain in ED patients appears to be feasible. The procedure can allow for the discharge of patients who may otherwise be unnecessarily admitted.