Efficacy of High-Sensitivity Troponin T in Identifying Very-Low-Risk Patients With Possible Acute Coronary Syndrome.


Importance:Physicians need information on how to use the first available high-sensitivity troponin (hsTnT) assay in the United States to identify patients at very low risk for 30-day adverse cardiac events (ACE). Objective:To determine whether a negative hsTnT assay at 0 and 3 hours following emergency department presentation could identify patients at less than 1% risk of a 30-day ACE. Design, Setting, and Participants:A prospective, observational study at 15 emergency departments in the United States between 2011 and 2015 that included individuals 21 years and older, presenting to the emergency department with suspected acute coronary syndrome. Of 1690 eligible individuals, 15 (no cardiac troponin T measurement) and 320 (missing a 0-hour or 3-hour sample) were excluded from the analyses. Exposures:Serial hsTnT measurements (fifth-generation Roche Elecsys hsTnT assay). Main Outcomes and Measures:Serial blood samples from each patient were collected after emergency department presentation (once identified as a potential patient with acute coronary syndrome) and 3 hours, 6 to 9 hours, and 12 to 24 hours later. Adverse cardiac events were defined as myocardial infarction, urgent revascularization, or death. The upper reference level for the hsTnT assay, defined as the 99th percentile, was established as 19 ng/L in a separate healthy US cohort. Patients were considered ruled out for acute myocardial infarction if their hsTnT level at 0 hours and 3 hours was less than the upper reference level. Gold standard diagnoses were determined by a clinical end point committee. Evaluation of assay clinical performance for acute myocardial infarction rule-out was prespecified; the hypothesis regarding 30-day ACE was formulated after data collection. Results:In 1301 healthy volunteers (50.4% women; median age, 48 years), the upper reference level was 19 ng/L. In 1600 patients with suspected acute coronary syndrome (48.4% women; median age, 55 years), a single hsTnTlevel less than 6 ng/L at baseline had a negative predictive value for AMI of 99.4%. In 974 patients (77.1%) with both 0-hour and 3-hour hsTnT levels of 19 ng/L or less, the negative predictive value for 30-day ACE was 99.3% (95% CI, 99.1-99.6). Using sex-specific cutpoints, C statistics for women (0.952) and men (0.962) were similar for acute myocardial infarction. Conclusions and Relevance:A single hsTnT level less than 6 ng/L was associated with a markedly decreased risk of AMI, while serial levels at 19 ng/L or less identified patients at less than 1% risk of 30-day ACE.





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Publication Info

Peacock, W Frank, Brigette M Baumann, Deborah Bruton, Thomas E Davis, Beverly Handy, Christopher W Jones, Judd E Hollander, Alexander T Limkakeng, et al. (2018). Efficacy of High-Sensitivity Troponin T in Identifying Very-Low-Risk Patients With Possible Acute Coronary Syndrome. JAMA cardiology, 3(2). pp. 104–111. 10.1001/jamacardio.2017.4625 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/21613.

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Alexander Tan Limkakeng

Professor of Emergency Medicine

Dr. Alexander T. Limkakeng, Jr., MD, MHSc, FACEP is a Professor of Emergency Medicine, Vice Chair of Clinical Research, Director of the Acute Care Research Team, and Director of the Resident Research Fellowship for the Department of Emergency Medicine in the Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina.

Dr. Limkakeng has served as chair of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) Research Committee, and been the Course Director of the ACEP Research Forum from 2016-2018, the largest emergency medical research platform in the nation. He is also the Assistant Director of ACEP’s Emergency Medicine Basic Research Skills course. He was elected to the Nominating Committee of the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine.

As a researcher, Dr. Limkakeng has led multiple clinical trials and interdepartmental sponsored projects and is author on over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts. These include studies in emergency conditions such as COVID-19, traumatic brain injury, hypertension, heart failure, thrombosis, stroke, envenomations, and septic shock. His research has been funded by grants and contracts totaling over $9 million dollars. He has lectured internationally on acute coronary syndrome, responsible conduct of research, design of clinical trials, and precision medicine in emergency care. He has led Duke’s involvement in NIH-funded research networks and in industry-funded work that led to FDA approval for multiple high-sensitivity cardiac troponin assays and point-of-care COVID-19 diagnostic tests. He has servesd as Co-PI for the Duke U24 Hub in the NIH Early Phase Pain Investigation Clinical Network (EPPIC-Net) (1U24NS114416) and now serves as a co-PI on the Duke U24 Hub award (1U24NS129498) in the NIH Strategies to Innovate Emergency Care Clinical Trials (SIREN) Network and in the NIH NINDS Strokenet network (1U24NS135250)

His personal research interest is finding new ways to diagnose acute coronary syndrome. In particular, he is interested in novel biomarkers and precision medicine approaches to this problem. The common element throughout this work is a focus on time-sensitive health conditions.

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