We aimed to analyze the 2020 standard of care in certified German chest pain units (CPU) with a special focus on non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTE-ACS) through a voluntary survey obtained from all certified units, using a prespecified questionnaire.
The assessment included the collection of information on diagnostic protocols, risk assessment, management and treatment strategies in suspected NSTE-ACS, the timing of invasive therapy in non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), and the choice of antiplatelet therapy.
The response rate was 75%. Among all CPUs, 77% are currently using the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) 0/3‑h high-sensitive troponin protocol, and only 20% use the ESC 0/1‑h high-sensitive troponin protocol as a default strategy. Conventional ergometry is still the commonly performed stress test with a utilization rate of 47%. Among NSTEMI patients, coronary angiography is planned within 24 h in 96% of all CPUs, irrespective of the day of the week. Prasugrel is the P2Y12 inhibitor of choice in ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), but despite the impact of the ISAR-REACT 5 trial on selection of antiplatelet therapy, ticagrelor is still favored over prasugrel in NSTE-ACS. If triple therapy is used in NSTE-ACS with atrial fibrillation, it is maintained up to 4 weeks in 51% of these patients.
This survey provides evidence that Germany’s certified CPUs ensure a high level of guideline adherence and quality of care. The survey also identified areas in need of improvement such as the high utilization rate of stress electrocardiogram (ECG).

© 2021. The Author(s).