Risk Stratification in the Patient with Non ST Segment Elevation Acuts Coronary Syndrome

José Escabí-Mendoza, Claudia Rosales-Álvarez


Patients hospitalized with unstable angina (UA) or with a non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarct (NSTEMI) are at increased risk of suffering refractory angina, recurrent myocardial infarct (MI), and death. These patients need to be evaluated more aggressively. According to the last published guidelines (2002) of UA/NSTEMI by the ACC/AHA Task Force, these patients should be categorized in a risk scale as: low, intermediate or high. This should be done in the initial evaluation, which includes: medical history, physical exam, an electrocardiogram (ECG) and cardiac markers. The TIMI risk score should also be used as complementary in this risk assessment. High risk patients, without contraindications, should be managed more aggressively with coronary angiography. On the other end, low risk patients, and some intermediate, may be evaluated more conservatively with early non-invasive studies for further assessment of ischemia and prognosis.

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