A Rule-Out Strategy Based on High-Sensitivity Troponin and HEART Score Reduces Hospital Admissions

Ann Emerg Med. 2019 May;73(5):491-499. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2018.11.039. Epub 2019 Jan 17.


Study objective: We evaluate whether a combination of a 1-hour high-sensitivity cardiac troponin algorithm and History, ECG, Age, Risk Factors, and Troponin (HEART) score reduces admission rate (primary outcome) and affects time to discharge, health care-related costs, and 30-day outcome (secondary outcomes) in patients with symptoms suggestive of an acute coronary syndrome.

Methods: This prospective observational multicenter study was conducted before (2013 to 2014) and after (2015 to 2016) implementation of a strategy including level of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T or I at 0 and 1 hour, combined with the HEART score. Patients with a nonelevated baseline high-sensitivity cardiac troponin level, a 1-hour change in high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T level less than 3 ng/L, or high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I level less than 6 ng/L and a HEART score less than or equal to 3 were considered to be ruled out of having acute coronary syndrome. A logistic regression analysis was performed to adjust for differences in baseline characteristics.

Results: A total of 1,233 patients were included at 6 centers. There were no differences in regard to median age (64 versus 63 years) and proportion of men (57% versus 54%) between the periods. After introduction of the new strategy, the admission rate decreased from 59% to 33% (risk ratio 0.55 [95% confidence interval {CI} 0.48 to 0.63]; odds ratio 0.33 [95% CI 0.26 to 0.42]; adjusted odds ratio 0.33 [95% CI 0.25 to 0.42]). The median hospital stay was reduced from 23.2 to 4.7 hours (95% CI of difference -20.4 to -11.4); median health care-related costs, from $1,748 to $1,079 (95% CI of difference -$953 to -$391). The number of clinical events was very low.

Conclusion: In this before-after study, clinical implementation of a 1-hour high-sensitivity cardiac troponin algorithm combined with the HEART score was associated with a reduction in admission rate and health care burden, with very low rates of adverse clinical events.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Algorithms
  • Controlled Before-After Studies
  • Female
  • Heart Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Heart Diseases / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Troponin T / metabolism*


  • Troponin T