Troponin-Guided Coronary Computed Tomographic Angiography After Exclusion of Myocardial Infarction

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2021 Oct 5;78(14):1407-1417. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2021.07.055.


Background: Patients with suspected acute coronary syndrome in whom myocardial infarction has been excluded are at risk of future adverse cardiac events.

Objectives: This study evaluated the usefulness of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I (hs-cTnI) to select patients for further investigation after myocardial infarction has been excluded.

Methods: This is a prospective cohort study of patients presenting to the emergency department with suspected acute coronary syndrome and hs-cTnI concentrations below the sex-specific 99th percentile. Patients were recruited in a 2:1 fashion, stratified by peak hs-cTnI concentration above and below the risk stratification threshold of 5 ng/L. All patients underwent coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) after hospital discharge.

Results: Overall, 250 patients were recruited (61.4 ± 12.2 years 31% women) in whom 62.4% (156 of 250 patients) had coronary artery disease (CAD). Patients with intermediate hs-cTnI concentrations (between 5 ng/L and the sex-specific 99th percentile) were more likely to have CAD than those with hs-cTnI concentrations <5 ng/L (71.9% [120 of 167 patients] vs 43.4% [36 of 83 patients]; odds ratio: 3.33; 95% CI: 1.92-5.78). Conversely, there was no association between anginal symptoms and CAD (63.2% [67 of 106 patients] vs 61.8% [89 of 144 patients]; odds ratio: 0.92; 95% CI: 0.48-1.76). Most patients with CAD did not have a previous diagnosis (53.2%; 83 of 156 patients) and were not on antiplatelet and statin therapies (63.5%; 99 of 156 patients) before they underwent CCTA.

Conclusions: In patients who had myocardial infarction excluded, CAD was 3× more likely in those with intermediate hs-cTnI concentrations compared with low hs-cTnI concentrations. In such patients, CCTA could help to identify those with occult CAD and to target preventative treatments, thereby improving clinical outcomes.

Keywords: acute coronary syndrome; coronary computed tomography angiogram; troponin.