OBJECTIVE: Point-of-care (POC) cardiac troponin (cTn) assays have a rapid turnaround time but are generally less sensitive than laboratory-based assays. Previous research found that the Abbott i-Stat cardiac troponin I (cTnI) assay has good diagnostic accuracy when used with the Troponin-only Manchester Acute Coronary Syndromes (T-MACS) decision aid and serial sampling over 3 hours. Accuracy of other assays may differ. We therefore evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of a different POC cTnI assay with serial sampling over 3 hours, both with T-MACS and when used alone.
METHODS: In a prospective diagnostic accuracy study at eight EDs in England (July 2015-October 2017), we collected clinical data from consenting adults with suspected ACS at the time of assessment in the ED. Blood samples were drawn on arrival and 3 hours later for POC cTnI (Cardio 3 Triage, Alere). The target condition was an adjudicated diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction (AMI), based on reference standard serial laboratory-based cTn testing. We calculated test characteristics for POC cTnI using the limit of detection (LoD, 0.01 µg/L) and the T-MACS decision aid.
RESULTS: Of 347 participants, 59 (14.9%) had AMI. With serial POC cTnI testing over 3 hours, POC cTnI at the LoD cut-off ruled out AMI in 193 (55.6%) patients with 98.1% sensitivity (95% CI 89.9% to 100.0%) and 99.5% negative predictive value (NPV, 95% CI 96.5% to 99.9%). T-MACS ruled out AMI in 117 (33.7%) patients with 98.1% sensitivity (95% CI 89.9% to 100%) and 99.2% NPV (95% CI 94.3% to 99.9%). T-MACS ruled in AMI with 97.9% specificity (95% CI 95.8% to 99.5%) and 83.7% positive predictive value (95% CI 70.6% to 91.7%).
CONCLUSIONS: With serial sampling over 3 hours, the Alere Cardio 3 Triage cTnI assay has relatively high NPV for AMI using either the LoD cut-off alone or the T-MACS decision aid. However, wide CIs around the measures of diagnostic accuracy mean that further prospective testing of this strategy is required before clinical implementation.
TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: UKCRN 18000.