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ABSTRACT: The appropriate management of patients discharged from the emergency department (ED) with increased high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT) but normal or borderline-high conventional cardiac troponin concentrations is unknown.
We investigated 643 consecutive ED patients with acute chest pain who had been discharged for outpatient management after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) had been ruled out by serial measurements of conventional cardiac troponin. hs-cTnT was measured blindly, and we calculated the rates of all-cause mortality (primary endpoint) and subsequent AMI (secondary endpoint) at 30, 90, and 360 days.
hs-cTnT concentrations were increased (>14 ng/L) in 114 patients (18%) but <30 ng/L in 95% of these patients. Of those 114 patients, 96 (84%) had an adjudicated noncoronary cause of chest pain. Thirty-day mortality (95% CI) was 0.9% (0.1%-6.1%), 90-day mortality was 2.7% (0.9%-8.1%), and 360-day mortality was 5.2% (2.2%-11.9%) in patients with increased hs-cTnT; respective rates (95% CI) of AMI were 0.0%, 1.9% (0.5%-7.2%), and 7.6% (3.7%-15.3%). Increased hs-cTnT was associated with increased mortality and AMI at 90 days (P = 0.006 and P = 0.081, respectively) and 360 days (P = 0.001 for both).
hs-cTnT is a strong prognosticator of intermediate and long-term mortality and AMI in low-risk patients discharged from the ED after AMI has been ruled out. The relatively low rate of 30-day events may suggest that patients without acute coronary syndrome and small increases in cardiac troponin are in need of further investigations and treatments, but not necessarily immediate hospitalization.
Clinical Chemistry 03/2012; 58(5):916-24. · 7.15 Impact Factor