This study aimed at evaluating the ability of cardiac troponin I (cTnI) measurement on the ACS:180 for prognostic risk stratification. Sequential admissions to the coronary care unit of a busy district general hospital were studied. All patients were followed up for a maximum of 4.3 years and cardiac events, either cardiac death, readmission with acute myocardial infarction or admission with acute unstable angina were documented.
Blood samples were taken on admission and at 4 and 12 h. A serum aliquot was taken and stored frozen at −70oC. The frozen aliquots were subsequently analysed for cTnI by chemiluminescent immunoassay using an ACS:180. Patients were categorized into those with or without ST segment elevation on the presenting electrocardiogram. The optimized decision threshold for mortality and event prediction was then determined by log-rank analysis and by construction of Kaplan-Meier survival plots.
A total of 289 patients (196 men) median age 65.3 years, range 27.4–87.9 years were studied. Out of this, 139 had ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and 150 had suspected non-STEMI (NSTEMI). Full data were available from 278 patients. Admission cTnI did not predict any of the endpoints in the STEMI group. In patients admitted with suspected NSTEMI, admission and peak cTnI predicted increased risk of death or readmission with acute myocardial infarction. In addition, peak cTnI predicted increased risk of death.
A cTnI exceeding 0.16 μg/L on admission or during hospital stay predicted an increased cardiac event rate at four years in patients admitted with suspected NSTEMI.