Objectives: Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity. Serial troponin tests have been endorsed as essential diagnostic steps to rule out/-in acute myocardial infarction (AMI), and hs-cTn assays have shown promise in enhancing the accuracy and efficiency of AMI diagnosis in the emergency department (ED).
Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis of diagnostic test accuracy studies were conducted to compare the diagnostic performance of various accelerated diagnostic algorithms of hs-cTn assays for patients with symptoms of AMI. Random-effects bivariate meta-analysis was conducted to estimate the summary sensitivity, specificity, likelihood ratios, and area under receiver operating characteristic curve.
Results: In the systematic review consisting of 56 studies and 67,945 patients, both hs-cTnT and hs-cTnI-based 0-, 1-, 2- and 0-1 h algorithms showed a pooled sensitivity >90%. The hs-cTnI-based algorithm showed a pooled specificity >80%. The hs-cTnT-based algorithms had a specificity of 68% for the 0-h algorithm and of around 80% for the 1-, 2-, and 0-1 h algorithms. The heterogeneities of all diagnostic algorithms were mild (I2 < 50%).
Conclusion: Both hs-cTnI- and hs-cTnT-based accelerated diagnostic algorithms have high sensitivities but moderate specificities for early diagnosis of AMI. Overall, hs-cTnI-based algorithms have slightly higher specificities in early diagnosis of AMI. For patients presenting ED with typical symptoms, the use of hs-cTnT or hs-cTnI assays at the 99th percentile may help identify patients with low risk for AMI and promote early discharge from the ED.
Keywords: 0-h algorithm; Diagnostic performance; Emergency department; Non-ST elevation myocardial infarction.
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