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Both 1- and 2-hour rapid diagnostic algorithms using high-sensitivity troponin (hs-cTn) have been validated to diagnose acute myocardial infarction (MI), leaving physicians uncertain which algorithm is preferable. The objective of this study was to prospectively evaluate the diagnostic performance of 1- and 2-hour algorithms in clinical practice in a Canadian emergency department (ED).
ED patients with chest pain had high-sensitivity cardiac troponin-T (hs-cTnT) collected on presentation and 1- and 2-hours later at a single academic centre over a 2-year period. The primary outcome was index MI, and the secondary outcome was 30-day major adverse cardiac events (MACE). All outcomes were adjudicated.
We enrolled 608 patients undergoing serial hs-cTnT sampling. Of these, 350 had a valid 1-hour and 550 had a 2-hour hs-cTnT sample. Index MI and 30-day MACE prevalence was ~12% and 14%. Sensitivity of the 1- and 2-hour algorithms was similar for index MI 97.3% (95% CI: 85.8–99.9%) and 100% (95% CI: 91.6–100%) and 30-day MACE: 80.9% (95% CI: 66.7–90.9%) and 83.3% (95% CI: 73.2–90.8%), respectively. Both algorithms accurately identified about 10% of patients as high risk.
Both algorithms were able to classify almost two-thirds of patients as low risk, effectively ruling out MI and conferring a low risk of 30-day MACE for this group, while reliably identifying high-risk patients. While both algorithms had equivalent diagnostic performance, the 2-hour algorithm offers several practical advantages, which may make it preferable to implement. Broad implementation of similar algorithms across Canada can expedite patient disposition and lead to resource savings.
Sex-specific diagnostic cut-offs may improve the test characteristics of high-sensitivity troponin assays for the diagnosis of myocardial infarction (MI). The objective of this study was to quantify test characteristics of sex-specific cut-offs of a single, high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT) assay for 7-day MI in patients with chest pain.
This observational cohort study included consecutive emergency department (ED) patients with suspected cardiac chest pain from four Canadian EDs who had an hs-cTnT assay performed within 60 minutes of ED arrival. The primary outcome was MI at 7 days. We quantified test characteristics (sensitivity, negative predictive value [NPV], likelihood ratios and proportion of patients ruled out) for multiple combinations of sex-specific, rule-out cut-offs. We calculated the net reclassification index compared to universal rule-out cut-offs.
In 7,130 patients (3,931 men and 3,199 women), the 7-day MI incidence was 7.38% among men and 3.78% among women. Optimal sex-specific cut-offs (<8 ng/L for men and <7 ng/L for women) had a 98.5% sensitivity for MI and ruled out MI in 55.8% of patients. This would enable an absolute increase in the proportion of patients who were able to be ruled out with a single hs-cTnT of 13.2% to 22.2%, depending on the universal rule-out concentration used as a comparator.
Sex-specific hs-cTnT cut-offs for ruling out MI at ED arrival may improve classification performance, enabling more patients to be safely ruled out at ED arrival. However, differences between sex-specific and universal cut-off concentrations are within the variation of the assay, limiting the clinical utility of this approach. These findings should be confirmed in other data sets.
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