The study, published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, examined 212 patients with unstable angina who were evaluated with chest pain units, a triage strategy to determine the severity of a patient's condition. Those patients were compared with 212 other patients who were routinely admitted to the hospital.
Mayo Clinic researchers found patients eligible for and able to do treadmill testing frequently had normal results and could be safely discharged from the emergency room without any significant events in the following six months.
Ineligible patients, such as those incapable of exercising, frequently had abnormal stress imaging results and were usually admitted to the hospital.
"Our strategy with exercise treadmill testing in selected patients helped us choose patients for hospital admission in a cost-effective and safe way," said Dr. Raymond Gibbons, a cardiologist and primary author of the study.