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Fast-track ruling in/out SARS-CoV-2 infection with rapid 0/1.5 h molecular test in patients with acute coronary syndromes
Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine  (IF2.16),  Pub Date : 2020-12-01, DOI: 10.2459/jcm.0000000000001117
Carmen Spaccarotella, Serena Migliarino, Annalisa Mongiardo, Antonio Curcio, Salvatore de Rosa, Nicola Corcione, Angela Quirino, Giorgio Settimo Barreca, Aida Giancotti, Cinzia Peronace, Nadia Marascio, Giovanni Matera, Ciro Indolfi


Patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) often arrive in the catheterization (cath) lab directly from the field or an emergency department without an accurate triage for Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection.

Although in the pandemic period the treatment in the cath laboratory of high-risk ACS should not be delayed because the operators wear special protection systems, the subsequent risk of contagion in a non-Covid coronary care unit could be high in the case of patients positive for SARS-CoV-2.


We tested the possibility of a fast-track protocol in 51 consecutive patients (mean age 65 ± 12 years) transferred from spokes centres or from the field to our HUB centre and admitted to our coronary care unit (CCU). Once the patient had arrived in the cath lab, the nasopharyngeal swab was performed. The real-time PCR to extract RNA for SARS-CoV-2 detection was performed with an automated rapid molecular Xpert Xpress test. Meanwhile, coronary angiography or percutaneous coronary intervention was performed if necessary.


In this fast-track protocol, the time to perform nasopharyngeal swab was 11 ± 11 min; time spent to transport nasopharyngeal swab to the laboratory was 29 ± 20 min; time to detect viral nucleic acid was 68 ± 16 min. The overall time from the execution of nasopharyngeal swab to the result was 109 ± 26 min. The results were immediately put into the hospital computer system and made readily available. Depending on the test result, patients were then transferred to the regular CCU or Covid area.


This study demonstrates that 0–1.5 h fast-track triage for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID 19) is feasible in patients with ACS. The execution of nasopharyngeal swab in the cath lab and its analysis with a rapid molecular test allows rapid stratification of SARS-CoV-2 infection.