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The Manchester Acute Coronary Syndromes (MACS) decision rule: validation with a new automated assay for heart-type fatty acid binding protein
  1. Richard Body1,2,
  2. Gillian Burrows3,
  3. Simon Carley2,4,
  4. Philip S Lewis3
    1. 1The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
    2. 2Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK
    3. 3Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK
    4. 4Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK
    1. Correspondence to Dr Richard Body, Emergency Department, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9WL, UK; richard.body{at}


    Objective The Manchester Acute Coronary Syndromes (MACS) decision rule may enable acute coronary syndromes to be immediately ‘ruled in’ or ‘ruled out’ in the emergency department. The rule incorporates heart-type fatty acid binding protein (h-FABP) and high sensitivity troponin T levels. The rule was previously validated using a semiautomated h-FABP assay that was not practical for clinical implementation. We aimed to validate the rule with an automated h-FABP assay that could be used clinically.

    Methods In this prospective diagnostic cohort study we included patients presenting to the emergency department with suspected cardiac chest pain. Serum drawn on arrival was tested for h-FABP using an automated immunoturbidimetric assay (Randox) and high sensitivity troponin T (Roche). The primary outcome, a diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction (AMI), was adjudicated based on 12 h troponin testing. A secondary outcome, major adverse cardiac events (MACE; death, AMI, revascularisation or new coronary stenosis), was determined at 30 days.

    Results Of the 456 patients included, 78 (17.1%) had AMI and 97 (21.3%) developed MACE. Using the automated h-FABP assay, the MACS rule had the same C-statistic for MACE as the original rule (0.91; 95% CI 0.88 to 0.92). 18.9% of patients were identified as ‘very low risk’ and thus eligible for immediate discharge with no missed AMIs and a 2.3% incidence of MACE (n=2, both coronary stenoses). 11.1% of patients were classed as ‘high-risk’ and had a 92.0% incidence of MACE.

    Conclusions Our findings validate the performance of a refined MACS rule incorporating an automated h-FABP assay, facilitating use in clinical settings. The effectiveness of this refined rule should be verified in an interventional trial prior to implementation.

    Trial registration number UK CRN 8376.

    • acute coronary syndrome
    • cardiac care, diagnosis
    • diagnosis

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