Implementation of more sensitive cardiac troponin T assay in a state-wide health service

Ehsan Khan, Kristina Lambrakis, Sheraz A. Nazir, Anthony Chuang, Amera Halabi, Kathryn Tiver, Tom Briffa, Louise A. Cullen, Matthew Horsfall, John K. French, Benjamin C. Sun, Derek P. Chew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: Explore the impact of deploying high-sensitivity (hs) cardiac troponin T (cTnT) assay across a state-wide health service. Methods and results: Presentations to emergency departments of six tertiary hospitals between January 2008 and August 2019 were included; standard cTnT assay was superseded by hs-cTnT in June 2011 without changing the reference range (≥30 ng/L reported as elevated), despite cTnT level of 30 ng/L being equivalent to ∼44 ng/L with hs-cTnT. Clinical outcomes were captured using state-wide linked health records. Interrupted time series analyses were used adjusted for seasonality and multiple co-morbidities using propensity score matching allowing for correlation within hospitals. In total, 614,847 presentations had ≥1 troponin measurement. Clinical ordering of troponin decreased throughout the study with no increase in elevated measurements amongst those tested with hs-cTnT. Small but statistically significant changes in index myocardial infarction (MI) diagnosis (−0.36%/year, 95%CI [confidence interval]:–0.48, −0.24,p < 0.001) and invasive coronary angiography (0.12%/year,95%CI:0, 0.24,p = 0.02) were seen, with no impact on death/MI at 30 days or 3-year survival in episodes of care (EOCs) with elevated cTnT after hs-cTnT implementation. Length of stay (LOS) was shorter among those with an elevated hs-cTnT (−4.44 h/year, 95%CI:–5.27, −3.60, p < 0.001). Non-elevated cTnT EOCs demonstrated shorter total LOS and improved 3-year survival (adjusted hazard ratio:0.90, 95%CI:0.83, 0.97,p = 0.008) although death/MI at 30 days was unchanged using hs-cTnT. Conclusion: Widespread implementation of hs-cTnT without altering clinical thresholds reported to clinicians provided significantly shorter LOS without a clinically significant impact on clinical outcomes. A safer cohort with non-elevated cTnT was identified by hs-cTnT compared to the standard cTnT assay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-72
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2022


  • Biomarker
  • Health services
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Population health
  • Troponin


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