Organizations issue updated chest pain data standards


Chest pain is one of the leading reasons for adult emergency room visits in the United States, accounting for more than 7 million visits annually. Properly identifying and treating dangerous and life-threatening causes of chest pain is critical. The 2021 American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Guideline for the Evaluation and Diagnosis of Chest Pain underscored the need to reach a consensus for the definitions of chest pain.

In an update to the 2021 guideline, this 2022 document standardizes related data elements for consistent reporting on chest pain cases and establishes a new definition set focusing on serious cardiovascular causes of chest pain and acute myocardial infarction.

Included in the document, data elements are grouped into three broad categories: chest pain, myocardial injury and myocardial infarction. Chest pain symptoms have traditionally been labeled “typical” or “atypical”; however, to define their expansive nature, the document divides chest pain syndromes into three categories: “cardiac,” “possible cardiac” and “noncardiac” based on the 2021 chest pain guideline.

In addition, the writing committee writes that uniform definitions for myocardial infarction are needed to ensure accurate reporting of cardiac events across all clinical trials and registries. Data elements for procedure-related myocardial injury and procedure-related myocardial infarction are included in the document. The standardized definitions and data elements should be broadly applicable across patient care settings, electronic health records, quality and performance improvement initiatives, registries and public reporting programs.

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