Controversy exists as to the clinical roles and relative specificities of cardiac troponin T or I in patients with unstable angina pectoris (UAP). We measured troponin T and I levels on admission in 123 patients with UAP. Of the 107 patients with normal creatine kinase during the first 24 hours, troponin T and I were elevated in 14 and 13 patients, respectively. At 30 days, 5 of 14 patients (36%) with elevated troponin T and 3 of 93 patients (3.2%) with normal troponin T had acute myocardial infarction (odds ratio [OR], 16.7; 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.4 to 81.5; p <0.001). Of 13 patients with elevated troponin I, 5 patients (39%) and 3 of 94 patients (3.2%) with normal troponin I had acute myocardial infarction (odds ratio, 21.7; 95% CI 4.3 to 110; p <0.001). No deaths occurred within 30 days. Both markers demonstrated equivalent sensitivity (63%) and specificities (troponin T: 91%; troponin I: 92%) for myocardial infarction. Meta-analysis of 12 published troponin T and 9 troponin I studies in patients with UAP produced risk ratios of 4.2 (95% CI 2.7 to 6.4, p <0.001) for troponin I compared with 2.7 (95% CI 2.1 to 3.4, p <0.001) for troponin T. Comparison of the sensitivities and specificities of both markers using summary receiver operating characteristic curves showed no significant difference in their abilities to predict acute myocardial infarction and cardiac death. Troponin T and I show similar prognostic significance for acute myocardial infarction or death in the same patients with UAP. The 2 markers are equally sensitive and specific, as confirmed by meta-analysis, and this supports a role in risk stratification.