CJEM Articles: Venkatesh Thiruganasambandamoorthy

Displaying 1-4 of 4 results

  • March 2016 16 2
    Ekaterina Turko, Erik P. Hess, George A. Wells, Ian G. Stiell, Jeffrey J. Perry, Venkatesh Thiruganasambandamoorthy


    Determining the appropriate disposition of emergency department (ED) syncope patients is challenging. Previously developed decision tools have poor diagnostic test characteristics and methodological flaws in their derivation that preclude their use. We sought to develop a scale to risk-stratify adult ED syncope patients at risk for serious adverse events (SAEs) within 30 days.


    We conducted a medical record review to include syncope patients age ≥ 16 years and excluded patients with ongoing altered mental status, alcohol or illicit drug use, seizure, head injury leading to loss of consciousness, or severe trauma requiring admission. We collected 105 predictor variables (demographics, event characteristics, comorbidities, medications, vital signs, clinical examination findings, emergency medical services and ED electrocardiogram/monitor characteristics, investigations, and disposition variables) and information on the occurrence of predefined SAEs. Univariate and multiple logistic regression analyses were performed.


    Among 505 enrolled patient visits, 49 (9.7%) suffered an SAE. Predictors of SAE and their resulting point scores were as follows: age ≥ 75 years (1), shortness of breath (2), lowest ED systolic blood pressure < 80 mm Hg (2), Ottawa Electrocardiographic Criteria present (2), and blood urea nitrogen > 15 mmol/L (3). The final score calculated by addition of the individual scores for each variable (range 0–10) was found to accurately stratify patients into low risk (score < 1, 0% SAE risk), moderate risk (score 1, 3.7% SAE risk), or high risk (score > 1, ≥ 10% SAE risk).


    We derived a risk scale that accurately predicts SAEs within 30 days in ED syncope patients. If validated, this will be a potentially useful clinical decision tool for emergency physicians, may allow judicious use of health care resources, and may improve patient care and safety.

  • July 2012 14 4
    Ekaterina Turko, Erik P. Hess, George A. Wells, Ian G. Stiell, My-Linh Tran, Venkatesh Thiruganasambandamoorthy

    Previous studies have indicated that the suboptimal performance of the San Francisco Syncope Rule (SFSR) is likely due to the misclassification of the “abnormal electrocardiogram (ECG)” variable. We sought to identify specific emergency department (ED) ECG and cardiac monitor abnormalities that better predict cardiac outcomes within 30 days in adult ED syncope patients.
    This health records review included patients 16 years or older with syncope and excluded patients with ongoing altered mental status, alcohol or illicit drug use, seizure, head injury leading to loss of consciousness, or severe trauma requiring admission. We collected patient characteristics, 22 ECG variables, cardiac monitoring abnormalities, SFSR “abnormal ECG” criteria, and outcome (death, myocardial infarction, arrhythmias, or cardiac procedures) data. Recursive partitioning was used to develop the “Ottawa Electrocardiographic Criteria.”
    Among 505 included patient visits, 27 (5.3%) had serious cardiac outcomes. We found that patients were at risk for cardiac outcomes within 30 days if any of the following were present: second-degree Mobitz type 2 or third-degree atrioventricular (AV) block, bundle branch block with first-degree AV block, right bundle branch with left anterior or posterior fascicular block, new ischemic changes, nonsinus rhythm, left axis deviation, or ED cardiac monitor abnormalities. The sensitivity and specificity of the Ottawa Electrocardiographic Criteria were 96% (95% CI 80–100) and 76% (95% CI 75–76), respectively.
    We successfully identified specific ED ECG and cardiac monitor abnormalities, which we termed the Ottawa Electrocardiographic Criteria, that predict serious cardiac outcomes in adult ED syncope patients. Further studies are required to identify which adult ED syncope patients require cardiac monitoring in the ED and the optimal duration of monitoring and to confirm the accuracy of these criteria.

  • September 2010 12 5
    Erik P. Hess, George A. Wells, Ian G. Stiell, Jeffrey J. Perry, Lisa A. Calder, Venkatesh Thiruganasambandamoorthy, Veronique L. Roger

    Objective: We sought to assess sex differences in clinical presentation, management and outcome in emergency department (ED) patients with chest pain, and to measure the association between female sex and coronary angiography within 30 days.

    Methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study in an urban academic ED between Jul. 1, 2007, and Apr. 1, 2008. We enrolled patients over 24 years of age with chest pain and possible acute coronary syndrome (ACS).

    Results: Among the 970 included patients, 386 (39.8%) were female. Compared with men, women had a lower prevalence of known coronary artery disease (21.0% v. 34.2%, p < 0.001) and a lower frequency of typical pain (37.1% v. 45.7%, p = 0.01). Clinicians classified a greater proportion of women as having a low (< 10%) pretest probability for ACS (85.0% v. 76.4%, p = 0.001). Despite similar rates of electrocardiography, troponin T and stress testing between sexes, there was a lower rate of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) (4.7% v. 8.4%, p = 0.03) and positive stress test results (4.4% v. 7.9%, p = 0.03) in women. Women were less frequently referred for coronary angiography (9.3% v. 18.9%, p < 0.001). The adjusted association between female sex and coronary angiography was not significant (odds ratio 0.63, 95% confidence interval 0.37–1.10).

    Conclusion: Women had a lower rate of AMI and a lower rate of positive stress test results despite similar rates of testing between sexes. Although women were less frequently referred for coronary angiography, these data suggest that sex differences in management were likely appropriate for the probability of disease.

  • July 2008 10 4
    Allan S. Jaffe, Erik P. Hess, George A. Wells, Ian G. Stiell, Judd E. Hollander, Patricia Erwin, Venkatesh Thiruganasambandamoorthy, Victor M. Montori

    Objective: We sought to determine the diagnostic accuracy of clinical prediction rules to exclude acute coronary syndrome (ACS) in the emergency department (ED) setting.

    Methods: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. We contacted content experts to identify additional articles for review. Reference lists of included studies were hand searched. We selected articles for review based on the following criteria: 1) enrolled consecutive ED patients; 2) incorporated variables from the history or physical examination, electrocardiogram and cardiac biomarkers; 3) did not incorporate cardiac stress testing or coronary angiography into prediction rule; 4) based on original research; 5) prospectively derived or validated; 6) did not require use of a computer; and 7) reported sufficient data to construct a 2 × 2 contingency table. We assessed study quality and extracted data independently and in duplicate using a standardized data extraction form.

    Results: Eight studies met inclusion criteria, encompassing 7937 patients. None of the studies verified the prediction rule with a reference standard on all or a random sample of patients. Six studies did not report blinding prediction rule assessors to reference standard results, and vice versa. Three prediction rules were prospectively validated. Sensitivities and specificities ranged from 94% to 100% and 13% to 57%, and positive and negative likelihood ratios from 1.1 to 2.2 and 0.01 to 0.17, respectively.

    Conclusion: Current prediction rules for ACS have substantial methodological limitations and have not been successfully implemented in the clinical setting. Future methodologically sound studies are needed to guide clinical practice.