Use of the HEART Pathway with high sensitivity cardiac troponins: A secondary analysis

Clin Biochem. 2017 May;50(7-8):401-407. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2017.01.003. Epub 2017 Jan 10.


Objectives: The HEART Pathway combines a decision aid and serial contemporary cardiac troponin I (cTnI) measures to achieve >99% sensitivity for major adverse cardiac events (MACE) at 30days and early discharge rates >20%. However, the impact of integrating high-sensitivity troponin (hs-cTn) measures into the HEART Pathway has yet to be determined. In this analysis we compare test characteristics of the HEART Pathway using hs-cTnI, hs-cTnT, or cTnI.

Design & methods: A secondary analysis of participants enrolled in the HEART Pathway RCT was conducted. Each patient was risk stratified by the cTn-HEART Pathway (Siemens TnI-Ultra at 0- and 3-h) and a hs-cTn-HEART Pathway using hs-cTnI (Abbott) or hs-cTnT (Roche) at 3-h. The early discharge rate, sensitivity, specificity, and negative predictive value (NPV) for MACE (death, myocardial infarction, or coronary revascularization) at 30days were calculated.

Results: hs-cTnI measures were available on 133 patients. MACE occurred in 11/133 (8%) of these patients. Test characteristics for the HEART Pathway using serial cTnI vs 3hour hs-cTnI were the same: sensitivity (100%, 95%CI: 72-100%), specificity (49%, 95%CI: 40-58%), NPV (100%, 95%CI: 94-100%), and early discharge rate (45%, 95%CI: 37-54%). The HEART Pathway using hs-cTnT missed one MACE event (myocardial infarction): sensitivity (91%, 95%CI: 59-100%), specificity (48%, 95%CI: 39-57%), NPV (98%, 95%CI: 91-100%), and early discharge rate (45%, 95%CI: 37-54%).

Conclusions: There was no difference in the test characteristics of the HEART Pathway whether using cTnI or hs-cTnI, with both achieving 100% sensitivity and NPV. Use of hs-cTnT with the HEART Pathway was associated with one missed MACE.

Keywords: Acute coronary syndrome; Chest pain; HEART Pathway; Troponin.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / blood*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Troponin C / blood*


  • Troponin C