Very low high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT) thresholds on presentation can rule out acute myocardial infarction (AMI), but the ability to identify patients at low risk of 30-day major adverse cardiac events (MACE) is less clear. This study examines the sensitivity of low concentrations of hs-cTnT on presentation to rule out 30-day MACE.
This prospective cohort study enrolled patients with chest pain presenting to the emergency department with nonischemic electrocardiograms who underwent AMI rule-out with an hs-cTnT assay. The primary outcome was 30-day MACE; secondary outcomes were individual MACE components. Because guidelines recommend using a single hs-cTnT strategy only for patients with more than 3 hours since symptom onset, a subgroup analysis was performed for this population. Outcomes were adjudicated on the basis of review of medical records and telephone follow-up.
Of 1167 patients enrolled, 125 (10.7%) experienced 30-day MACE and 97 (8.3%) had AMI on the index visit. More than one-third of patients (35.6%) had presenting hs-cTnT concentrations below the limit of detection (5 ng/L), which was 94.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 88.8-97.7) sensitive for 30-day MACE and 99.0% (95% CI, 94.5-100) sensitive for index AMI. Of 292 patients (25.0%) with hs-cTnT < 5 ng/L and at least 3 hours since symptom onset, only 3 experienced 30-day MACE (sensitivity 97.6%; 95% CI, 93.2-100) and none had AMI within 30 days (sensitivity 100%; 95% CI, 96.3-100).
Among patients with nonischemic electrocardiograms and > 3 hours since symptom onset, low hs-cTnT thresholds on presentation confer a very low risk of 30-day MACE. In the absence of a high-risk clinical presentation, further risk stratification is likely to be low yield.

© 2019 Canadian Cardiovascular Society. Published by Elsevier Inc.