Background: Cardiac troponin testing is central to the diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction. We evaluated a sensitive troponin I assay for the early diagnosis and risk stratification of myocardial infarction.
Methods: In a multicenter study, we determined levels of troponin I as assessed by a sensitive assay, troponin T, and traditional myocardial necrosis markers in 1818 consecutive patients with suspected acute myocardial infarction, on admission and 3 hours and 6 hours after admission.
Results: For samples obtained on admission, the diagnostic accuracy was highest with the sensitive troponin I assay (area under the receiver-operating-characteristic curve [AUC], 0.96), as compared with the troponin T assay (AUC, 0.85) and traditional myocardial necrosis markers. With the use of the sensitive troponin I assay (cutoff value, 0.04 ng per milliliter) on admission, the clinical sensitivity was 90.7%, and the specificity was 90.2%. The diagnostic accuracy was virtually identical in baseline and serial samples, regardless of the time of chest-pain onset. In patients presenting within 3 hours after chest-pain onset, a single sensitive troponin I assay had a negative predictive value of 84.1% and a positive predictive value of 86.7%; these findings predicted a 30% rise in the troponin I level within 6 hours. A troponin I level of more than 0.04 ng per milliliter was independently associated with an increased risk of an adverse outcome at 30 days (hazard ratio, 1.96; 95% confidence interval, 1.27 to 3.05; P=0.003).
Conclusions: The use of a sensitive assay for troponin I improves early diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction and risk stratification, regardless of the time of chest-pain onset.
2009 Massachusetts Medical Society