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1.  Quick identification of acute chest pain patients study (QICS) 
Background
Patients with acute chest pain are often referred to the emergency ward and extensively investigated. Investigations are costly and could induce unnecessary complications, especially with invasive diagnostics. Nevertheless, chest pain patients have high mortalities. Fast identification of high-risk patients is crucial. Therefore several strategies have been developed including specific symptoms, signs, laboratory measurements, and imaging.
Methods/Design
The Quick Identification of acute Chest pain Study (QICS) will investigate whether a combined use of specific symptoms and signs, electrocardiography, routine and new laboratory measures, adjunctive imaging including electron beam (EBT) computed tomography (CT) and contrast multislice CT (MSCT) will have a high diagnostic yield for patients with acute chest pain. All patients will be investigated according a standardized protocol in the Emergency Department. Serum and plasma will be frozen for future analysis for a wide range of biomarkers at a later time point. The primary endpoint is the safe recognition of low-risk chest pain patients directly at presentation. Secondary endpoint is the identification of a wide range of sensitive predictive clinical markers, chemical biomarkers and radiological markers in acute chest pain patients. Chemical biomarkers will be compared to quantitative CT measurements of coronary atherosclerosis as a surrogate endpoint. Chemical biomarkers will also be compared in head to head comparison and for their additional value.
Discussion
This will be a very extensive investigation of a wide range of risk predictors in acute chest pain patients. New reliable fast and cheap diagnostic algorithm resulting from the test results might improve chest pain patients' prognosis, and reduce unnecessary costs and diagnostic complications.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-9-24
PMCID: PMC2704169  PMID: 19527487
2.  The role of coronary artery calcification score in clinical practice 
Background
Coronary artery calcification (CAC) measured by electron-beam computed tomography (EBCT) has been well studied in the prediction of coronary artery disease (CAD). We sought to evaluate the impact of the CAC score in the diagnostic process immediately after its introduction in a large tertiary referral centre.
Methods
598 patients with no history of CAD who underwent EBCT for evaluation of CAD were retrospectively included into the study. Ischemia detection test results (exercise stress test, single photon emission computed tomography or ST segment analysis on 24 hours ECG detection), as well as the results of coronary angiography (CAG) were collected.
Results
The mean age of the patients was 55 ± 11 years (57% male). Patients were divided according to CAC scores; group A < 10, B 10 – 99, C 100 – 399 and D ≥ 400 (304, 135, 89 and 70 patients respectively). Ischemia detection tests were performed in 531 (89%) patients; negative ischemia results were found in 362 patients (183 in group A, 87 in B, 58 in C, 34 in D). Eighty-eight percent of the patients in group D underwent CAG despite negative ischemia test results, against 6% in group A, 16% in group B and 29% in group C. A positive ischemia test was found in 74 patients (25 in group A, 17 in B, 16 in C, 16 in D). In group D 88% (N = 14) of the patients with a positive ischemia test were referred for CAG, whereas 38 – 47% in group A-C.
Conclusion
Our study showed that patients with a high CAC score are more often referred for CAG. The CAC scores can be used as an aid in daily cardiology practice to determine further decision making.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-8-38
PMCID: PMC2628861  PMID: 19091061
3.  The importance of left ventricular function for long-term outcome after primary percutaneous coronary intervention 
Background
In the present study we sought to determine the long-term prognostic value of left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), assessed by planar radionuclide ventriculography (PRV), after ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) treated with primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI).
Methods
In total 925 patients underwent PRV for LVEF assessment after PPCI for myocardial infarction before discharge from the hospital. PRV was performed with a standard dose of 500 Mbq of 99mTc-pertechnetate. Average follow-up time was 2.5 years.
Results
Mean (± SD) age was 60 ± 12 years. Mean (± SD) LVEF was 45.7 ± 12.2 %. 1 year survival was 97.3 % and 3 year survival was 94.2 %. Killip class, multi vessel-disease, previous cardiovascular events, peak creatin kinase and its MB fraction, age and LVEF proved to be univariate predictors of mortality. When entered in a forward conditional Cox regression model age and LVEF were independent predictors of 1 and 3 year mortality.
Conclusion
LVEF assessed by PRV is a powerful independent predictor of long term mortality after PPCI for STEMI.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-8-4
PMCID: PMC2278125  PMID: 18294397
4.  Measurement of coronary calcium scores or exercise testing as initial screening tool in asymptomatic subjects with ST-T changes on the resting ECG: an evaluation study 
Background
Asymptomatic subjects at intermediate coronary risk may need diagnostic testing for risk stratification. Both measurement of coronary calcium scores and exercise testing are well established tests for this purpose. However, it is not clear which test should be preferred as initial diagnostic test. We evaluated the prevalence of documented coronary artery disease (CAD) according to calcium scores and exercise test results.
Methods
Asymptomatic subjects with ST-T changes on a rest ECG were selected from the population based PREVEND cohort study and underwent measurement of calcium scores by electron beam tomography and exercise testing. With calcium scores ≥10 or a positive exercise test, myocardial perfusion imaging (MPS) or coronary angiography (CAG) was recommended. The primary endpoint was documented obstructive CAD (≥50% stenosis).
Results
Of 153 subjects included, 149 subjects completed the study protocol. Calcium scores ≥400, 100–399, 10–99 and <10 were found in 16, 29, 18 and 86 subjects and the primary endpoint was present in 11 (69%), 12 (41%), 0 (0%) and 1 (1%) subjects, respectively. A positive, nondiagnostic and negative exercise test was present in 33, 27 and 89 subjects and the primary endpoint was present in 13 (39%), 5 (19%) and 6 (7%) subjects, respectively. Receiver operator characteristics analysis showed that the area under the curve, as measure of diagnostic yield, of 0.91 (95% CI 0.84–0.97) for calcium scores was superior to 0.74 (95% CI 0.64–0.83) for exercise testing (p = 0.004).
Conclusion
Measurement of coronary calcium scores is an appropriate initial non-invasive test in asymptomatic subjects at increased coronary risk.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-7-19
PMCID: PMC1959245  PMID: 17629903

Results 1-4 (4)