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In Brief: Troponin tests

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

Troponin tests: Blood levels of the cardiac-specific proteins troponin I and troponin T are a strong predictor of cardiac events and should be routinely measured in patients presenting to the emergency room with acute chest pain, according to a study published in the Dec. 4 New England Journal of Medicine. "Negative test results are associated with low risk and allow rapid and safe discharge of patients," Christian Hamm, MD, University Hospital Eppendorf (Hamburg, Germany) et al. conclude. The prospective study involved 773 patients who experienced acute chest pain for less than 12 hours without ST elevation on their electrocardiograms. Among 47 patients with evolving heart attack, troponin I tests (Spectral Diagnostics' STATus) were positive in all cases and troponin T tests (Boehringer Mannheim) were positive in 44 (94%). For patients with normal values of troponin I and troponin T, 0.3% and 1.1% respectively died of a cardiac event during the 30-day follow-up period...
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