High-sensitive cardiac troponin T outperforms novel diagnostic biomarkers in patients with acute chest pain

Clin Chim Acta. 2012 Jul 11;413(13-14):1135-40. doi: 10.1016/j.cca.2012.03.011. Epub 2012 Mar 19.


Background: Measurement of high-sensitive cardiac troponin (hs-cTn) has facilitated the early diagnostic assessment of chest pain patients. However, the information obtained from hs-cTnT levels might be improved when combined with results of other biomarkers of myocardial injury.

Methods: We measured admission levels of hs-cTnT (Roche Diagnostics), heart-type fatty-acid binding protein (H-FABP; Randox Laboratories) and copeptin using a novel ultra-sensitive (us) assay (Thermo Fisher Scientific) in 360 chest pain patients with a non-diagnostic ECG. Non-STEMI was defined according to the Universal Definition using cardiac troponin I (Stratus CS; Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics) as biochemical gold standard.

Results: Non-STEMI was diagnosed in 128 (36%) patients. Hs-cTnT had a greater diagnostic accuracy regarding non-STEMI (C-statistics 0.84) compared to H-FABP (C-statistics 0.80; p=0.04) and us-copeptin C-statistics(0.62; p<0.001). Compared to hs-cTnT alone, no increase in the C-statistics was noted for the combination of hs-cTnT with H-FABP (0.85; p=0.43) or with us-copeptin (0.84; p=0.88). Due to suboptimal sensitivities and/or specificities, neither H-FABP nor us-copeptin dichotomized at commonly applied diagnostic thresholds added information to hs-cTnT that would have facilitated early diagnostic assessment.

Conclusions: Hs-cTnT provides an excellent early diagnostic accuracy regarding non-STEMI already on admission. Neither H-FABP nor us-copeptin perform better or provide diagnostic increment to hs-cTnT levels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Chest Pain / blood*
  • Chest Pain / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Troponin T / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • Troponin T