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Am Heart J. 2003 Sep;146(3):446-52.

Impact of the troponin standard on the prevalence of acute myocardial infarction.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Cardiology Division, Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Va 23298-0051, USA.



Recent recommendations are that troponin should replace creatine kinase (CK)-MB as the diagnostic standard for myocardial infarction (MI). The impact of this change has not been well described. Our objective was to determine the impact of a troponin standard on the prevalence of acute non-ST-elevation MI.


The current study was a retrospective analysis of consecutive patients without ST-segment elevation admitted for exclusion of myocardial ischemia to an inner city urban tertiary care center. All patients underwent serial marker sampling (CK, CK-MB, and cardiac troponin I [cTnI]). Patients with ST elevation consistent with acute MI (n = 130) or who did not have an 8 hour cTnI (n = 124) were excluded. The impact of 3 different cTnI diagnostic values were examined in 2181 patients: the lower limit of detectability (LLD); an optimal diagnostic value (OPT), chosen using receiver operator characteristic curve analysis; and the manufacturer's suggested upper reference level (URL), when compared to a gold standard CK-MB MI definition. In addition, MI prevalence was assessed using different CK-MB MI definitions and evaluated in patients with ischemic changes only.


The prevalence CK-MB MI was 7.8%. Using the various cTnI diagnostic values, the incidence of MI increased the prevalence by 28% to 195%. Using the optimal diagnostic value for cTnI, patients with cTnI elevations not meeting CK-MB MI criteria had an intermediate 30-day mortality (5.4%) compared to those with CK-MB MI (7.1%). Grouping the cTnI positive, CK-MB MI negative patients with the CK-MB MI patients rather than the non-CK-MB MI patients reduced mortality for both the MI (to 5.9%) and non-MI groups (from 1.9% to 1.6%).


Changing to a troponin standard will have a substantial impact on the number of patients diagnosed with MI. The revised definition for MI will have important clinical and health care implications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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