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Open access

What's the risk? Assessment of patients with stable chest pain

Arzu Cubukcu, Ian Murray, and Simon Anderson

In 2010, the National Institute for Heath and Clinical Excellence published guidelines for the management of stable chest pain of recent onset. Implementation has occurred to various degrees throughout the NHS; however, its effectiveness has yet to be proved. A retrospective study was undertaken to assess the impact and relevance of this guideline, comparing the estimated risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) with angiographic outcomes. Findings were compared with the recently published equivalent European guideline. A total of 457 patients who attended a Rapid Access Chest Pain Clinic were retrospectively reviewed. CAD risk was assessed according to NICE guidelines and patients were separated into typical, atypical and non-anginal chest pain groups. Risk stratification using typicality of symptoms in conjunction with NICE risk scoring and exercise tolerance testing was used to determine the best clinical course for each patient. The results include non-anginal chest pain – 92% discharged without needing further testing; atypical angina – 15% discharged, 40% referred for stress echocardiography, 35% referred for angiogram and significant CAD revealed in 8%; typical angina – 4% discharged, 19% referred for stress echocardiography, 71% referred for angiogram and 40% demonstrated CAD. Both guidelines appear to overestimate the risk of CAD leading to an excessive number of coronary angiograms being undertaken to investigate patients with typical or atypical sounding angina, with a low pick up rate of CAD. Given the high negative predictive value of stress echocardiography and the confidence this brings, there is much scope for expanding its use and potentially reduce the numbers going for invasive angiography.

Open access

The role of the Tei index in assessing for cardiotoxicity from anthracycline chemotherapy: a systematic review

Sadie Bennett, Arzu Cubukcu, Chun Wai Wong, Timothy Griffith, Cheryl Oxley, Diane Barker, Simon Duckett, Duwarakan Satchithananda, Ashish Patwala, Grant Heatlie, and Chun Shing Kwok


Anthracycline agents are known to be effective in treating tumors and hematological malignancies. Although these agents improve survival, their use is associated with cardiotoxic effects, which most commonly manifests as left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD). As such, guidelines recommend the periodic assessment of left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF). However, as diastolic dysfunction likely proceeds systolic impairment in this setting, the role of Tei index may offer additional benefit in detecting subclinical LVSD.


We conducted a systematic review to investigate the evidence for the use of Tei index in assessing subclinical cardiotoxicity in patients receiving anticancer agents. A search of Medline and EMBASE was performed and relevant studies were reviewed and narratively synthesized.


A total of 13 studies were included with a total of 800 patients (mean age range 46–62 years, percentage of male participants ranged from 0–86.9%). An increase in Tei index was observed in 11 studies, which suggested a decline in cardiac function following chemotherapy. Out of these, six studies indicated that the Tei index is a useful parameter in predicting cardiotoxic LVSD. Furthermore, five studies indicated Tei index to be superior to LVEF in detecting subclinical cardiotoxicity.


Though there are some studies that suggest that Tei index may be a useful indicator in assessing subclinical anthracycline-related cardiotoxicity, the findings are inconsistent and so more studies are needed before the evaluation of Tei index is performed routinely in patients receiving chemotherapy.