Mitigation of the clinical significance of spurious elevations of cardiac troponin I in settings of coronary ischemia using serial testing of multiple cardiac markers


      The ability to differentiate between true positives, false positives, and sporadically elevated cardiac troponin levels has grown in importance as cardiac troponins assume an increasingly dominant role in the diagnosis of coronary syndromes. In a population sample of 1,000 patients who presented consecutively to a large urban hospital emergency room, 50 of 112 patients who had elevated troponin levels (>0.6 ng/ml) during evaluation for myocardial injury were subsequently found to have had an isolated, spurious elevation of cardiac troponin, and not a diagnosed myocardial infarction. Logistic regression analysis shows that by hierarchically analyzing electrocardiographic changes with concurrent creating kinase-MB and myoglobin levels at the time of the troponin elevation, one may predict with 91% accuracy whether the troponin elevation is actually indicative of a myocardial infarction in a patient. Spurious troponin elevations may be a common occurrence, and if not detected, may result in an increased number of falsely diagnosed myocardial infarctions.
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