Value of troponin-T rapid assay, cardiac enzymes, electrocardiogram and history of chest pain in the initial diagnosis of myocardial infarction in the emergency department

Eur J Emerg Med. 2000 Jun;7(2):91-8. doi: 10.1097/00063110-200006000-00002.


We conducted a prospective study of 152 adult patients presenting to an emergency department with chest pain or symptoms suggestive of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) to evaluate the first electrocardiogram (ECG), creatine kinase (CK)-MB and Troponin-T Rapid Assay (TnT) alone or in combination with chest pain in the initial diagnosis of AMI. A provisional diagnosis was made after the history, physical examination and the first ECG reading. Blood specimens were taken for TnT, CK and CK-MB mass. A final discharge diagnosis of AMI was made according to World Health Organization criteria. Seventy-six (50%) of patients had a final diagnosis of AMI. The sensitivities of the first ECG, first CK-MB mass and first TnT were 76.3% (95% confidence interval (CI), 66.8-85.9), 38.2% (95% CI, 27.2-49.1) and 31.6% (95% CI, 21.2-42.0) respectively. The area under the curve for a combination of ECG, CK-MB mass, TnT and chest pain was the highest at 0.937 when compared with chest pain with varying combinations of tests. A combination of the first ECG, CK-MB mass and TnT had a negative predictive value (NPV) of 87.9% (95% CI, 80.0-95.8). The first ECG was the most sensitive test while the combination of chest pain, ECG, cardiac enzymes and TnT gave the best results in the initial diagnosis of AMI. If the first ECG, CK-MB mass and TnT are all negative, the probability of having an AMI is 12%.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Chest Pain / etiology*
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Creatine Kinase / analysis*
  • Creatine Kinase, MB Form
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Electrocardiography*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / analysis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnosis*
  • Probability
  • Prospective Studies
  • ROC Curve
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Troponin T / analysis*


  • Biomarkers
  • Isoenzymes
  • Troponin T
  • Creatine Kinase
  • Creatine Kinase, MB Form