Cocaine-associated Chest Pain


Step 1: View clinicals

A 38 year old man presents with left-sided tightening chest pain for 10 hours, with radiation to the neck. He also experienced a tingling sensation in his left arm and neck, and mild dyspnea and lightheadedness. His medical history is significant for well controlled hypertension for 5 years. There is an extensive family history of ischemic heart disease, with his mother dying of a myocardial infarction in her early 50s. He admits to inhaling cocaine and smoking marijuana about 30 minutes before the onset of the pain. He has a history of cocaine use for 10 years.

Step 2: Order all relevant investigations

Cardiac Biomarkers

Troponin I: 0.1 ng/mL (<10) Creatine Kinase (CK): 681 U/L (<200) CK-MB Fraction: 1% (3-5)


The ECG is in sinus rhythm, with a rate of 90 bpm. There is a complete right bundle branch block, with a PR interval of 0.28 seconds. There are ST segment depressions and T-wave inversions in the leads V1-V3. Serial ECGs show no dynamic changes.

Portable Chest X-Ray

The portable chest x-ray appears normal.

Urine Drug Screen

Benzoylecgonine: 350 ng/mL (<300) Marijuana Metabolites (THC-COOH): 75 ng/mL (<50) Negative for Amphetamines, Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines, Methadone, Opiates, and Tricyclic Antidepressants.

Step 3: Select appropriate management

ACE Inhibitors
Beta Blockers
IV Benzodiazepines

Score: ★★☆