A novel approach to cardiac troponins to improve the diagnostic work-up in chest pain patients

Kai M. Eggers, Allan S. Jaffe, Bodil Svennblad, Bertil Lindahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In patients with acute chest pain, current guidelines recommend serial measurements of cardiac troponins at predefined and partly late time points. Consequently, diagnostic assessment in these patients tends to be lengthy and often results in unnecessary admissions. We, therefore, evaluated whether an approach integrating troponin results into the clinical context provided by the individual patient's presentation might facilitate the early diagnostic work-up. In 197 chest pain patients, cardiac troponin I (cTnI; Stratus CS) was measured serially within 12 hours after hospital admission. In patient cohorts with different chances of having myocardial infarction (MI) according to clinical data, electrocardiographic findings, and admission biomarker results, pretest probabilities for MI were calculated and compared with posttest probabilities derived from subsequent cTnI results after admission. Elevated cTnI levels at 1 to 2 hours after admission revealed ≥ 95.0% posttest probabilities for MI in cohorts with intermediate or high chances of having MI. The posttest probabilities for the absence of MI were 94.7% to 98.2% in cohorts with low or intermediate chances of having MI when cTnI was negative at 2 hours. Troponin testing considering the individual patient's pretest probability of MI seems, in conclusion, to provide clinically useful information already 1 to 2 hours after admission. Such an approach has the potential to identify both patient cohorts in whom early discharge or admittance for further evaluation would be appropriate. This could facilitate the early diagnostic work-up of chest pain patients, thereby improving patient flow and reducing overcrowding in healthcare facilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-205
Number of pages7
JournalCritical Pathways in Cardiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • HEART score
  • cardiac troponin
  • chest pain
  • diagnostic work-up
  • myocardial infarction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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