Clinical implications of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin measurements in hospitalized medical patients.

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Clinical implications of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin measurements in hospitalized medical patients.

PLoS One. 2015;10(1):e0117162

Authors: Stein GY, Alon D, Korenfeld R, Fuchs S

BACKGROUND: The increased use of high sensitivity cardiac troponins (hs-cTn), have made the diagnosis of non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (MI) challenging, especially in complex medical patients, in whom the clinical presentation of MI is nonspecific and multiple comorbidities as well as non-ischemic acute conditions may account for elevated hs-cTn levels. The aim of this study was to assess the frequency of both elevated hs-cTn levels and dynamic changes in hospitalized patients.
METHODS AND FINDINGS: We conducted a retrospective study identifying all patients hospitalized in the Internal Medicine Division of Rabin Medical Center, Israel between January 2011 to December 2011, for whom at least one hs-cTn T (hs-cTnT) measurement was obtained. Collected data included patient demographics, acute and chronic diagnosis, hs-cTnT and creatinine levels and date of death. Hs-cTnT levels were obtained in 5,696 admissions and was above the 99th percentile (> = 13 ng/L) in 61.6% of the measurements. A relative change of 50% or higher was observed in 24% of the admissions. Among those with elevated hs-cTnT levels, acute coronary syndromes (ACS) accounted for only 6.1% of acute diagnoses. Maximal hs-cTnT levels above 100 ng/L but not dynamic changes discriminated between ACS and non-ACS conditions (positive and negative predictive values of 12% and 96% respectively). The frequency of elevated hs-cTnT levels was age-dependent and over 75% of patients aged >70 years-old had levels above the 99th percentile. Multivariate analysis identified hs-cTnT levels higher than the 99th percentile, as an independent, strong predictor for 30-day mortality (OR 4.58 [2.8, 7.49], p<0.0001).
CONCLUSIONS: Elevated hs-cTnT levels together with dynamic changes are frequent findings among hospitalized patients and in most cases, are not related to the ACS diagnosis. These findings highlight the diagnostic challenge of ACS in this complex population. Further studies are needed in order to optimize the use of hs-cTnT measurements in hospitalized patients.

PMID: 25636061 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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