Diagnosis of Myocardial Infarction Using a High-Sensitivity Troponin I 1-Hour Algorithm

JAMA Cardiol. 2016 Jul 1;1(4):397-404. doi: 10.1001/jamacardio.2016.0695.


Importance: Rapid and accurate diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) currently constitutes an unmet need.

Objective: To test a 1-hour diagnostic algorithm to diagnose AMI using a high-sensitivity troponin I assay with a new cutoff level of 6 ng/L.

Design, setting, and participants: The Biomarkers in Acute Cardiac Care study is a prospective study that investigated the application of the troponin I assay for the diagnosis of AMI in 1040 patients presenting to the emergency department with acute chest pain from July 19, 2013, to December 31, 2014. Results were validated in 2 independent cohorts of 4009 patients. Final follow-up was completed on July 1, 2015, and data were assessed from July 2 to December 15, 2015.

Exposure: Acute chest pain suggestive of AMI.

Main outcomes and measures: Accurate diagnosis or exclusion of AMI and 12-month mortality in patients with acute chest pain.

Results: Of the 1040 patients included from the study cohort, 673 (64.7%) were male and had a median age of 65 (interquartile range, 52-75) years. With application of a low troponin I cutoff value of 6 ng/L, the rule-out algorithm showed a high negative predictive value of 99.8% (95% CI, 98.6%-100.0%) after 1 hour for non-ST-segment elevation MI type 1. The 1-hour approach was comparable to a 3-hour approach. Similarly, a rule-in algorithm based on troponin I levels provided a high positive predictive value with 82.8% (95% CI, 73.2%-90.0%). Moreover, application of the cutoff of 6 ng/L resulted in lower follow-up mortality (1.0%) compared with the routinely used 99th percentile (3.7%) for this assay. Two independent cohorts further validated the performance of this algorithm with high negative and positive predictive values.

Conclusions and relevance: Patients with possible AMI can be triaged within 1 hour after admission with no loss of safety compared with a 3-hour approach, when a low and sensitive cutoff is applied. This concept enables safe discharge or rapid treatment initiation after 1 hour.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Algorithms*
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnosis*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reference Values
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Troponin I / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • Troponin I