How Accurate is a Troponin Test?

A troponin test is responsible for measuring the levels of troponin I or troponin T present in the blood of human beings. However, the blood releases such proteins whenever muscles nearby the heart of a person remain in damaged condition or when a person suffers from a heart attack.

Positive Result or High Levels of Troponin T and I

Increase in the levels of both Troponin T and Troponin I in troponin test indicate the following major problems:

  • Heart attack or myocardial infarction
  • Heartbeat at a relatively faster rate or in an abnormal manner
  • Pulmonary hypertension or high blood pressure in the arteries and lungs
  • Blockage in the artery of the lungs because of tumor cells, fat or clotting of blood referred as the pulmonary embolus
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Coronary spasm of artery
  • Inflammation of the muscles present nearby the heart.

A minor increase in the level of Troponin in troponin test indicates some damages to the human heart, while excessively high levels indicate the occurrence of a myocardial infarction or heart attack. Most of the individuals suffered with the problem of heart attack have an increase in the Troponin T or Troponin I level within a period of about 6 hours.

How Accurate is a Troponin Test?

How Accurate is a Troponin Test?

For a long time, cardiologists, doctors and other researchers are consistently putting their efforts to find out the accuracy associated with a Troponin Test. In this article, you will get a gist about the study and the result obtained by researchers based on the diagnosing criteria revealed by the World Health Organization.

Data Extraction of the Troponin Test

In order to find the exact result of the troponin test, researchers have taken different steps to extract data from a large number of patients based on both non-consecutive and consecutive enrollment of patients, different settings, characteristics possessed by patients, cut point values to identify any abnormal level, troponin test manufacturer and exact time of the troponin test starting from the onset of a chest pain or anything similar. In addition, researchers have divided the study quality in first and second level patients, where the first level of patients were those, who enrolled consecutively and remaining were under the second level. Later on, doctors extracted as well as calculated data on specificity, sensitivity and likelihood ratios to combine them in the meta-analysis process.

Results Obtained from the Troponin Test

19 different studies have succeeded to meet the inclusion criteria, where in case of 11 first level studies, 7 of them witnessed increase in the release of Troponin T and remaining 4 in the Troponin I release. On the other side, in case of 8 different second level studies, 6 of them found the increase in Troponin T, 1 as the increase in the Troponin I, while 1 as increasing both of them. Sensitivity associated with both the troponin tests increase from the onset symptoms time, while the specificity remained same or reduced a bit. Furthermore, sensitivity has remained at its highest for 8 hours or more in case of troponin T, while 6 hours for the troponin I.

Conclusion and Comments

Both the serum Troponin tests, i.e. Test T and Test I are helpful in diagnosing the acute problem of myocardial infarction or any other similar heart problem. Diagnostic performance associated with both of these troponin tests vary largely but primarily dependent on the cut point for defining of the abnormal levels, timing involved in the troponin test by starting from beginning or onset of symptoms. Hence, the conclusion that one can obtain from the research study is that a positive Troponin T result would highlight MI problem whenever blood sample is collected before or at about 6 hours after the onset of the symptom.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 31, 2017

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