Clinical performance of three cardiac troponin assays in patients with unstable coronary artery disease (a FRISC II substudy)

Am J Cardiol. 2002 May 1;89(9):1035-41. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9149(02)02271-3.


The assay of cardiac-specific troponins (cTroponins) is a sensitive and specific means to diagnose myocardial injury. Several assays for the measurement of cardiac-specific troponin I (cTnI), but only 1 for the assay of cardiac specific troponin T (cTnT), are commercially available. The aim of this study was to compare 3 of these assays (i.e., Access AccuTnI [cTnI], AxSym [cTnI], and Elecsys 3(rd) generation [cTnI]) and their clinical performances in a group of patients (n = 1,763) with unstable coronary artery disease (Fragmin and fast Revascularisation during InStability in Coronary artery disease [FRISC II] trial). Clinical events after 1-year follow-up, such as death and death and/or acute myocardial infarction, were recorded and the effects of invasive or noninvasive treatment evaluated in relation to cTroponin levels. Overall the 2 cTnI methods showed good correlation (r(s) = 0.96), whereas correlations to the cTnT assay were somewhat lower (r(s) = 0.93). Patients with nonelevated levels, as measured with any of the 3 biomarkers, had a significantly better prognosis than patients with elevated levels (p <0.001). A cohort of 10% to 12.4% of patients with a poor prognosis was identified only by the Access AccuTnI assay. Invasive treatment reduced clinical events only in the group of patients with elevated cTroponin levels. We conclude that stratification of patients with unstable coronary artery disease by means of cTroponin measurements is important in clinical management. It is also apparent that assays with superior sensitivity, such as the Access AccuTnI, identify more patients with poor prognosis who are candidates for early invasive procedures.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Coronary Artery Disease / blood*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnosis*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / therapy
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Protein Isoforms / blood
  • Regression Analysis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Survival Rate
  • Troponin / blood*
  • Troponin I / blood
  • Troponin T / blood


  • Protein Isoforms
  • Troponin
  • Troponin I
  • Troponin T