Diagnostic performance of cardiac Troponin I for early rule-in and rule-out of acute myocardial infarction: Results of a prospective multicenter trial

Clin Biochem. 2015 Mar;48(4-5):254-9. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2014.08.018. Epub 2014 Sep 4.


Objectives: To compare emergency department TnI serial sampling intervals, determine optimal diagnostic thresholds, and report representative diagnostic performance characteristics for early rule-in and rule-out of MI.

Methods: We prospectively measured TnI (AccuTnI+3™, Beckman Coulter) at serial time intervals in 1929 subjects with chest pain or equivalent ischemic symptoms suggestive of acute coronary syndromes at 14 medical centers. Diagnosis was adjudicated by an independent central committee.

Results: TnI ≥0.03ng/mL provided 96.0% sensitivity and 89.4% specificity at 1-3h after admission, and 94.9% sensitivity and 86.7% specificity at 3-6h. NPV (rule-out, non-MI) was 99.5% at 1-3h, and 99.0% at 3-6h when TnI is <0.03ng/mL. NPV was 99.1% when TnI is <0.03ng/mL and time of symptom onset is ≥8h. Approximately 50-58% (PPV) of patients with TnI ≥0.03ng/mL were diagnosed with MI, depending upon time from onset or admission; PPVs emphasize the importance of serial samples and delta TnI (rising or falling pattern) when low cutoffs are used. Nevertheless, even a single elevated TnI value increased the risk of MI. As TnI values rose, the probability of MI increased. Values ≥0.20ng/mL were associated with nearly 90% probability of MI.

Conclusions: We report a large multicenter prospective adjudicated trial assessing troponin for early rule-in and rule-out using the Universal Definition of MI and conducted in primary care hospital-associated emergency departments. Our study demonstrates high diagnostic accuracy at early observation times, and reinforces consensus recommendations for sampling on admission and 3h later, repeated at 6h when clinical suspicion remains high.

Keywords: Acute coronary syndromes; Biomarkers; Chest pain; Diagnosis; Emergency medicine; Myocardial infarction; Troponin.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / blood*
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnosis*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Troponin I / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • Troponin I