Bautz B and Schneider JI. Emerg Med Clin North Am 2020 - Review.
Nontraumatic chest pain is a frequent concern of emergency department patients, with causes that range from benign to immediately life threatening. Identifying those patients who require immediate/urgent intervention remains challenging and is a high-risk area for emergency medicine physicians where incorrect or delayed diagnosis may lead to significant morbidity and mortality. This article focuses on the 3 most prevalent diagnoses associated with adverse outcomes in patients presenting with nontraumatic chest pain, acute coronary syndrome, thoracic aortic dissection, and pulmonary embolism. Important aspects of clinical evaluation, diagnostic testing, treatment, and disposition and other less common causes of lethal chest pain are also discussed.