Toxicol Rep. 2020 Dec 18;8:23-27. doi: 10.1016/j.toxrep.2020.12.011. eCollection 2021.
INTRODUCTION: Cocaine is considered a cardiovascular risk factor, yet it is not included in the frequently used risk stratification scores. Moreover, many guidelines provide limited advice on how to diagnose and treat cocaine-associated chest pain (CACP). This study aimed to determine the current practice for CACP patients in emergency departments and coronary care units throughout the Netherlands.
METHODS: An anonymous online questionnaire-based survey was conducted among Dutch emergency physicians and cardiologists between July 2015 and February 2016. The questionnaire was based on the American Heart Association CACP treatment algorithm.
RESULTS: A total of 214 subjects were enrolled and completed the questionnaire. All responders considered cocaine use a risk factor for developing acute coronary syndrome (ACS), nevertheless 74.4 % of emergency physicians and 81.1 % of cardiologists do not always question chest pain patients about drug use. Of all responders, 73.6 % never perform toxicology screening. Most responders (60 %) observe patients with CACP according to the European Society of Cardiology ACS guideline, and 24.3 % give these patients ß-blockers.
CONCLUSION: The current practice for CACP patients in most emergency departments and coronary care units in the Netherlands is not in line with the AHA scientific statement. Emergency physicians and cardiologists should be advised to routinely question all chest pain patients on drug history and be aware that the risk stratifications scores are not validated for CACP. Despite the AHA scientific statement of 2008, many respondents utilize ß-blockers for CACP patients, which is supported by published evidence since the statement appeared.