A retrospective analysis of high sensitivity cardiac troponin-T ranges in non-myocardial infarction emergency department visits

BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2021 Jun 7;21(1):283. doi: 10.1186/s12872-021-02089-0.


Introduction: Current evidence suggests that high sensitivity cardiac troponin-T (hs-cTnT) values differ based on sex, race, age, and kidney function. However, most studies examining the relationship of hs-cTnT and these individual factors are in healthy participants, leading to difficulty in interpreting hs-cTnT values in the Emergency Department (ED) setting. We seek to examine the relationship between hs-cTnT values and sex, race, age, and kidney function in a contemporary, urban academic setting.

Methods: ED visits from June 2018 through April 2019 with at least 1 hs-cTnT and no diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) at an academic medical center in the south side of Chicago were retrospectively analyzed. Median hs-cTnT values were stratified by sex (male or female), race (African American or Caucasian), age, estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), and stage of chronic kidney disease.

Results: 9679 encounters, representing 7989 distinct patients, were included for analysis (age 58 ± 18 years, 59% female, 85% black). Males had significantly higher median hs-cTnT values than females (16 [8-34] vs. 9 [6-22] ng/L, p < 0.001), African Americans had a significantly lower median value than Caucasians (10 [6-24] vs. 15 [6-29] ng/L, p < 0.001), and those with atrial fibrillation (27 [16-48] vs. 9 [6-19] ng/L, p < 0.001) and heart failure (28 [14-48] vs. 8 [6-15] ng/L, p < 0.001) had higher median values than those without. Median hs-cTnT values increased significantly with increased age and decreased eGFR. All relationships continued to be significant even after multivariable regression of sex, age, race, eGFR, presence of atrial fibrillation, and presence of heart failure (p < 0.01).

Conclusions: Analysis of hs-cTnT in non-AMI patients during ED encounters showed that males have higher values than females, African Americans have lower values than Caucasians, those with atrial fibrillation and heart failure have higher values than those without, and that older age and lower eGFR were associated with higher median values.

Keywords: Acute myocardial infarction; Cardiac troponin; Chronic kidney disease; Emergency Department.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Atrial Fibrillation / blood
  • Atrial Fibrillation / ethnology
  • Atrial Fibrillation / physiopathology
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Chicago / epidemiology
  • Emergency Service, Hospital*
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Heart Failure / blood
  • Heart Failure / ethnology
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Kidney / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Race Factors
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / blood
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / ethnology
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Troponin T / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • Troponin T