Table 1

Comparative studies of chest pain observation units (CPOUs)

First authorSubjectsAllocation to treatmentControlsOutcomes
*Compared costs with both randomised and historical controls but only randomised controls had outcome data collected.
MI = myocardial infarction.
Farkouh17Intermediate risk of myocardial ischaemiaRandomised“Usual care”: monitored cardiology bedNo significant difference for in-hospital, 30 day or 6 month event rate. No significant difference for return visits
Roberts18Low risk of MI (<7%) but admission plannedRandomisedInpatient telemetry unitAt 8 weeks: no deaths, no significant difference in rehospitalization (6.1% v 4.5%), fewer indeterminate diagnoses in CPOU group (13% v 45%)
Gomez*19Low risk of MI (<7%) but admission plannedRandomisedRoutine care: hospital admissionNo death, MI or coronary artery disease in either group at 30/7. 6% of CPOU group re-presented, 7% of admitted group required further investigation
Gaspoz20Low risk of MI with anticipated stay <48 hoursNon-randomisedContemporaneous, eligible for CPOU but either discharged or admitted to hospitalNo significant difference in complications, MI or death at 72 hours or 6 months
Kerns21Atypical chest pain, low risk of ischaemiaNon-randomisedContemporaneous, eligible for CPOU but admitted to hospitalNo death, MI or coronary artery disease at 3 or 6 months in either group