The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of recommendations to limit troponin testing to patients with either chest pain or ischemic electrocardiographic changes.
We included all adult patients hospitalized in a regional hospital in internal medicine, cardiology, and intensive care departments in 2014-2016, and in 2019 after recommending limiting troponin testing to patients with either chest pain or ischemic electrocardiographic changes.
After the intervention testing decreased from 51.5% (11634/22581) to 34.6% (3417/9882). However, if only those with ischemia or chest pain were tested the frequency would be 9.4% (924/9882), 95% confidence interval – 8.8-9.9%. Variables increasing the odds of ordering a troponin test were older age, male sex, a discharge diagnosis of tachyarrhythmia, congestive heart failure and dizziness or syncope as well as lower albumin and higher glucose, uric acid and blood urea nitrogen test results. There were lower odds in those with non-specific symptoms, and infections of the skin, soft tissues and the urinary tract. Auditing increased the effectiveness of the intervention in one internal medicine department (odds ratio 0.70, 95% confidence limit 0.60 – 0.82) after adjustment for other significant independent variables. The area under the curve of 0.713.
We found that an educational program with clear recommendations decreased the proportion of patients with troponin testing in hospitalized internal medicine departments, but the intervention was only partially effective and did not include patients with congestive heart failure and other conditions where expert recommendations for testing are discordant.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.