Background: The aim of this study was to compare the prognostic efficacy of cardiac troponin T (cTnT) and I (cTnI) in patients with clinical unstable angina.
Methods: We studied 74 patients with chest pain at rest, electrocardiographic evidence of myocardial ischemia, and normal (<6.7 ng/mL) values of creatine kinase-MB. cTnT was measured with a commercial assay (cutoff level 0.1 ng/mL) and cTnI with a preliminary research application (cutoff level 3.1 ng/mL). All patients had blood drawn at baseline and 8 hours thereafter. The prospectively defined end point was the proportion of patients identified by each assay as having myocardial damage.
Results: cTnT and cTnI were elevated in the same percentage of patients (18 of 74; 24%). Overall, 23 patients had elevations of 1 or both markers. In 13 there were elevations of both. Ten patients had elevations of only one (5 for each marker). In 51 patients, no elevations were present. Death or nonfatal myocardial infarction was more frequent in patients with elevated cTnI (27.7% vs 5.3%; P =.02) than those with normal values. The prognostic influence of cTnT was less (17% vs 8.5%; P =.2). However, the difference between the 2 markers when compared directly was not statistically significant (27.7% vs 17%; P = NS).
Conclusions: These data indicate that both markers identify myocardial damage in equal numbers of patients with clinical unstable angina. Patients with elevations had a worse short-term outcome. The significance of the minor differences in prognostic value will require additional studies.