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Circulation. 1991 Mar;83(3):902-12.

Diagnostic efficiency of troponin T measurements in acute myocardial infarction.

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Innere Medizin III, University of Heidelberg, FRG.



The present study was designed to evaluate the efficiency of a newly developed troponin T enzyme immunoassay for the detection of acute myocardial infarction.


The study comprised 388 patients admitted with chest pain and suspected myocardial infarction and 101 patients with skeletal muscle damage and additional suspected myocardial cell damage. Troponin T was elevated to more than twice the analytical sensitivity of the assay (0.5 microgram/l) in all patients with non-Q wave (range, 1.2-5 micrograms/l) and Q wave infarction (range, 3-220 micrograms/l). Troponin T appeared in serum as early as 3 hours after onset of pain in 50% of the patients and remained elevated in all patients for more than 130 hours, revealing release kinetics of both free cytosolic and structurally bound molecules. The diagnostic efficiency of troponin T was superior to that of creatine kinase-MB (98% versus 97%) and remained at 98% until 5.5 days after admission, if patients with unstable angina were excluded from analysis. In the 79 patients with unstable angina, troponin T was elevated (range, 0.55-3.1 micrograms/l) in at least one blood sample from each of 37 patients (56%). Circulating troponin T was correlated to the presence of reversible ST segment or T wave changes on the electrocardiogram (p less than 0.005) and to the frequency of in-hospital complications. In the 101 patients with skeletal muscle damage and suspected additional cardiac muscle damage, troponin T was the most useful test; its efficiency was 89% or 94% (depending on the discriminator value used) as compared with 63% for creatine kinase-MB.


Thus, the data of the study indicate that the newly developed troponin T test improves the efficiency of serodiagnostic tools for the detection of myocardial cell necrosis as compared with conventionally used cardiac enzymes.

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