Availability of troponin testing for cardiac patients in New Zealand 2002 to 2011: implications for patient care

N Z Med J. 2012 Jun 29;125(1357):44-61.


Aims: For patients presenting with an acute coronary syndrome (ACS), troponin T or I levels are crucial for the diagnosis of myocardial infarction (MI). We investigated troponin tests, analyser types and thresholds used in New Zealand (NZ) from 2002 to 2011.

Methods: We reviewed troponin tests available at hospitals in NZ which admitted ACS patients and those who had troponin testing in 2002 (n=41), 2007 (n=43) and 2011 (n=43). We also contacted community laboratories and manufacturers.

Results: In 2010-11 there were nine different troponin analysers in 43 hospitals provided by five companies. Troponin T assays were used in 58% of the hospitals and 42% used troponin I as their first-line method. Quoted cutpoints have become more aligned since 2002 and 2007, but are still different from laboratory cutpoints using point of care methods.

Conclusions: There are differences in troponin tests available across NZ. Test thresholds and units vary, even for the same test, and available diagnostic information cannot always be used to identify a troponin rise and fall. Care is needed when comparing results from different methods and when point of care instruments are used. A coordinated national approach to the development of new biochemical tests, such as troponins, may result in better use of resources and better patient care.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / blood*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Diagnostic Equipment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • New Zealand
  • Risk Assessment
  • Troponin I / blood*
  • Troponin T / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • Troponin I
  • Troponin T