Skip to content

Paucis Verbis card: TIMI risk score


Chest PainHow do you risk-stratify undifferentiated chest pain patients in the Emergency Department? There are a multitude of causes for chest pain. We are always taught to think of the 5 big life-threats: ACS, PE, aortic dissection, tension pneumothorax, and pericardial tamponade.

So how do YOU risk-stratify your patients for unstable angina (UA) and non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI)? STEMI’s are usually obvious. UA and NSTEMIs — not so much.

Fortunately a 2000 JAMA article and a followup Academic Emergency Medicine 2006 study have solidified the TIMI risk scoring system as a reasonable risk-stratification tool for all-comer ED patients with chest pain requiring an ECG.

Generally there is an upslope in risk at a TIMI score of 3 and greater.

PV Card: TIMI Risk Score

Adapted from 1,2
Go to the ALiEM Cards site for more resources.

Pollack C, Sites F, Shofer F, Sease K, Hollander J. Application of the TIMI risk score for unstable angina and non-ST elevation acute coronary syndrome to an unselected emergency department chest pain population. Acad Emerg Med. 2006;13(1):13-18. [PubMed]
Antman E, Cohen M, Bernink P, et al. The TIMI risk score for unstable angina/non-ST elevation MI: A method for prognostication and therapeutic decision making. JAMA. 2000;284(7):835-842. [PubMed]
Michelle Lin, MD
ALiEM Editor-in-Chief
Academy Endowed Chair of EM Education
Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine
University of California, San Francisco
Michelle Lin, MD
Michelle Lin, MD

Latest posts by Michelle Lin, MD (see all)