Background: Current hospital practice involves protracted observation of chest-pain patients to rule out myocardial infarction. Concurrent measurement of multiple biomarkers may increase sensitivity and make rapid diagnosis feasible.
Objective: We sought to determine the optimal biomarker strategy for highly sensitive, early diagnosis of myocardial injury.
Study design: A prospective evaluation of 171 acute coronary syndrome patients admitted to a single university medical center was performed. Blood tests for creatine kinase (CK), CK myocardial band isoenzyme (CK-MB), and troponin T were obtained at 0, 3, 6, 8, and 16 hours after presentation to the emergency department. Myocardial injury was defined as a troponin T level of >or=0.03 ng/mL.
Results: Troponin T had sensitivities of 79.7%, 95.7%, and 98.4% at the time of initial presentation, 3 and 6 hours after presentation, respectively. Using a combination of troponin T and CK-MB relative index, sensitivity on presentation was increased to 90.6%. The sensitivity was improved to 97.9% and 100% at 3 and 6 hours, respectively.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates that the diagnosis of myocardial injury can be accurately excluded within 6 hours of admission with high sensitivity using troponin T. The combination of troponin T and CK-MB relative index provided the largest improvement in diagnostic sensitivity at patient arrival. These results support the feasibility of rapid, efficient triage for the emergent presentation of patients with chest pain.