The Usefulness and Limitations of Point-of-care Cardiac Troponin Measurement in the Emergency Department
Objective This study was carried out to examine the usefulness of point-of-care (POC) cardiac troponin in diagnosing acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and to understand the limitations of a POC cardiac troponin I/T-based diagnoses. Methods Patients whose cardiac troponin levels were measured in the emergency department using a POC system (AQT System; Radiometer, Tokyo, Japan) between January and December 2016 were retrospectively examined (N=1449). Patients who were<20 years of age or who were admitted with cardiopulmonary arrest were excluded. The sensitivity and specificity of the POC cardiac troponin levels for the diagnosis of ACS were determined. Result One hundred and twenty of 1449 total patients had ACS (acute myocardial infarction, n=88; unstable angina n=32). On comparing the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves, the area under the curve (AUC) values for POC cardiac troponin I and cardiac troponin T were 0.833 and 0.786, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of POC cardiac troponin I when using the 99th percentile (0.023 ng/mL) as the diagnostic cut-off value were 69.0% and 88.1%, respectively. The sensitivity of POC cardiac troponin I (99th percentile) was higher in the patients sampled>3 h after symptom onset (83.3%) than in those sampled ≤ 3 h after symptom onset (58.8%, p<0.01). Conclusion When sampled>3 h after the onset of symptoms, the POC cardiac troponin I level is considered to be suitable for use in diagnosing ACS. However, when sampled ≤ 3 h after the onset of symptoms, careful interpretation of POC cardiac troponins is therefore required to rule out ACS.