Original Contributions| Volume 43, ISSUE 4, P553-560, October 2012

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Diagnostic Performance of Initial Salivary Alpha-Amylase Activity for Acute Myocardial Infarction in Patients with Acute Chest Pain

Published:November 07, 2011DOI:



      To rule out acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in chest pain patients constitutes a diagnostic challenge to emergency department (ED) physicians.

      Study Objectives

      To evaluate the diagnostic value of measuring salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) activity for detecting AMI in patients presenting to the ED with acute chest pain.


      sAA activity was measured in a prospective cohort of 473 consecutive adult patients within 4 h of onset of chest pain. Comparisons were made between patients with a final diagnosis of AMI and those with non-AMI. Univariate analysis and multiple logistic regression model were used to identify independent clinical predictors of AMI.


      Initial sAA activity in the AMI group (n = 85; 266 ± 127.6 U/mL) was significantly higher than in the non-AMI group (n = 388; 130 ± 92.8 U/mL, p < 0.001). sAA activity levels were also significantly higher in patients with ST elevation AMI (n = 53) compared to in those with non-ST elevation AMI (n = 32) (300 ± 141.1 vs. 210 ± 74.1 U/mL, p < 0.001). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of sAA activity for predicting AMI in patients with acute chest pain was 0.826 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.782–0.869), with diagnostic odds ratio 10.87 (95% CI 6.16–19.18). With a best cutoff value of 197.7 U/mL, the sAA activity revealed moderate sensitivity and specificity as an independent predictor of AMI (78.8% and 74.5%).


      High initial sAA activity is an independent predictor of AMI in patients presenting to the ED with chest pain.


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