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Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2015 Jun;22(6):684-92. doi: 10.1177/2047487314529691. Epub 2014 Apr 3.

High-sensitivity cardiac troponin T and copeptin assays to improve diagnostic accuracy of exercise stress test in patients with suspected coronary artery disease.

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Department of Cardiology, Kerckhoff Heart and Thorax Centre, Germany
Department of Cardiology, Kerckhoff Heart and Thorax Centre, Germany.
Division of Cardiology, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany.



The average diagnostic sensitivity of exercise stress tests (ESTs) is lower than that of other non-invasive cardiac stress tests. The aim of the study was to examine whether high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT) or copeptin concentrations rise in response to inducible myocardial ischaemia and may improve the diagnostic accuracy of ESTs.


An EST was performed stepwise on a bicycle ergometer by 383 consecutive patients with suspected or progression of coronary artery disease (CAD). In addition venous blood samples for measurement of hs-cTnT and copeptin were collected prior to EST, at peak exercise, and 4 h after EST. Coronary angiography was assessed for all patients. Patients with significant CAD (n = 224) were more likely to be male and older compared to patients with non-significant CAD (n = 169). Positive EST was documented in 125 (55.8%) patients with significant CAD and in 69 (43.4%) patients with non-significant CAD. Copeptin and hs-cTnT concentrations at baseline were higher in patients with significant CAD (copeptin: 10.8 pmol/l (interquartile range (IQR) 8.1-15.6) vs 9.4 pmol/l (IQR 7.1-13.9); p = 0.04; hs-cTnT: 3.0 ng/l (IQR <3.0-5.4) vs <3.0 ng/l (IQR <3.0); p = 0.006). Hs-cTnT improved sensitivity (61.6% vs 55.8%), specificity (67.7% vs 56.6%) and the positive predictive value (PPV) (72.3% vs 64.4%) and negative (55.2% vs 47.6%) predictive value (NPV) of EST. Copeptin could not improve sensitivity (55.4% vs 55.8%) and reduced specificity, PPV and NPV.


The measurement of hs-cTnT during EST improves sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values. In contrast, measurement of copeptin does not improve diagnostic sensitivity and reduces specificity.


Coronary artery disease; cardiac troponin T; copeptin; exercise stress test; myocardial ischaemia

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