Context While current practice guidelines provide an evidence-based approach
to management of acute coronary syndromes (ACS), application of the evidence
by individual physicians has been suboptimal.
Objective To assess and synthesize the evidence regarding optimal management of
non–ST-segment elevation ACS (NSTE-ACS).
Data Sources Systematic searches of peer-reviewed publications were performed in
MEDLINE and the Cochrane Database from January 1990 through November 2004,
with consultation by content experts. Search terms included antiplatelet therapy, antithrombotic therapy, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition, angiotensin receptor blockade, β-blockade, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, cigarette smoking, diet, diabetes mellitus, exercise, myocardial ischemia, and coronary artery
Study Selection and Data Extraction Criteria for selection of studies included controlled study design,
English language, and clinical pertinence. Data quality was based on the publishing
journal and relevance to clinical management of NSTE-ACS.
Data Synthesis While outcomes of controlled studies support a comprehensive approach
in the management of patients with NSTE-ACS, many physicians perceive existing
guidelines as lengthy and complex. After risk stratification to identify those
patients most likely to benefit from an early invasive vs early conservative
strategy, a comprehensive management plan can be assembled through an “ABCDE”
approach. The elements of this include “A” for antiplatelet therapy,
anticoagulation, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition, and angiotensin
receptor blockade; “B” for β-blockade and blood pressure
control; “C” for cholesterol treatment and cigarette smoking cessation;
“D” for diabetes management and diet; and “E” for
Conclusion An “ABCDE” approach for the management of NSTE-ACS provides
a practical and systematic means to implement evidence-based medicine into