Original Research

Predictors of Clinically Significant Echocardiography Findings in Older Adults with Syncope: A Secondary Analysis

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Syncope is a common reason for visiting the emergency department (ED) and is associated with significant healthcare resource utilization.

OBJECTIVE: To develop a risk-stratification tool for clinically significant findings on echocardiography among older adults presenting to the ED with syncope or near-syncope. DESIGN: Prospective, observational cohort study from April 2013 to September 2016

SETTING: Eleven EDs in the United States

PATIENTS: We enrolled adults (≥60 years) who presented to the ED with syncope or near-syncope who underwent transthoracic echocardiography (TTE).

MEASUREMENTS: The primary outcome was a clinically significant finding on TTE. Clinical, electrocardiogram, and laboratory variables were also collected. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to identify predictors of significant findings on echocardiography.

RESULTS: A total of 3,686 patients were enrolled. Of these, 995 (27%) received echocardiography, and 215 (22%) had a significant finding on echocardiography. Regression analysis identified five predictors of significant findings: (1) history of congestive heart failure, (2) history of coronary artery disease, (3) abnormal electrocardiogram, (4) high-sensitivity troponin-T >14 pg/mL, and 5) N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide >125 pg/mL. These five variables make up the ROMEO (Risk Of Major Echocardiography findings in Older adults with syncope) criteria. The sensitivity of a ROMEO score of zero for excluding significant findings on echocardiography was 99.5% (95% CI: 97.4%-99.9%) with a specificity of 15.4% (95% CI: 13.0%-18.1%).

CONCLUSIONS: If validated, this risk-stratification tool could help clinicians determine which syncope patients are at very low risk of having clinically significant findings on echocardiography.

REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier NCT01802398.

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