Is routine measurement of international normalized ratio necessary as part of the investigation of patients with cardiac-type chest pain?

CVKET-SC-INR Chest Pain

Charles V. Keating Emergency and Trauma Centre (ED)

Chest pain is a frequent complaint of patients presenting to the emergency department (ED), and many of them are referred to the cardiology service for further investigation. At the Charles V. Keating Emergency and Trauma Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, 4,800 (6.6%) of the approximately 73,000 patients per year register with a complaint of "chest pain", and 20% of patients are referred to cardiology. Coagulation studies, specifically international normalized ratio (INR) frequently part of the "routine" panel of blood tests, are ordered for patients in the ED being investigated or treated for chest pain suspected to be cardiac in nature. Recent calls to examine how much of our practice is likely to benefit patients in any way have led us to question the clinical utility of routine use of these tests.


Authors: Samuel G. Campbell, Kirk Magee, Ismail Cajee, Simon Field, Michael B. Butler, Christine L. Campbell, and Sarah E. Bryson

Samuel G. Campbell - emsgc@nshealth.ca

Preliminary data gathering/ baseline