Background: Guidelines recommend serial conventional cardiac troponin (cTn) measurements 6-9 hours apart for non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) diagnosis.We sought to develop a pathway based on absolute/relative changes between two serial conventional cardiac troponin I (cTnI) values 3-hours apart for 15-day MACE identification.
Methods: This was a prospective cohort study conducted in the two large ED’s at the Ottawa Hospital. Adults with NSTEMI symptoms were enrolled over 32 months. Patients with STEMI, hospitalized for unstable angina, or with only one cTnI were excluded. We collected baseline characteristics, Siemens Vista cTnI at 0 and 3-hours after ED presentation, disposition, and ED length of stay (LOS). Adjudicated primary outcome was 15-day MACE (AMI, revascularization, or death due to cardiac ischemia/unknown cause). We analysed cTnI values by 99th percentile cut-off multiples (45, 100 and 250ng/L).
Results: 1,683 patients (mean age 64.7 years; 55.3% female; median ED LOS 7 hours; 88 patients with 15-day MACE) were included. 1,346 (80.0%) patients with both cTnI≤45ng/L; and 58 (3.4%) of the 213 patients with one value≥100ng/L but both ‹250ng/L or ≤20% change did not suffer MACE. Among 124 patients (7.4%) with one value >45ng/L but both ‹100ng/L based on 3 or 6-hour cTnI, one patient with ∆ ‹10ng/L and 6 of 19 patients with ∆≥20ng/L were diagnosed with NSTEMI (patients with ∆10-19ng/L between first and second cTnI had third one at 6-hours). Based on the results, we developed the Ottawa Troponin Pathway (OTP) with a 98.9% sensitivity (95%CI 96.7-100%) and 94.6% specificity (95%CI 93.4-95.7%).
Conclusion: The OTP, using two conventional cTnI measurements performed 3-hours apart, should lead to better identification of NSTEMI particularly those with values >99th percentile cut-off, standardize management and reduce the ED LOS.