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Vol. 65 (2001) No. 5 P 424-428



Clinical Investigation

Emergency triage and therapeutic decisions using the recently developed whole blood rapid troponin T test were evaluated and compared with conventional electrocardiographic (ECG) diagnosis in a total of 155 patients with chest pain who visited 16 emergency outpatient clinics in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Thirty-seven patients (23.9%) had a final diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction or high-risk unstable angina requiring emergency coronary intervention and these events were defined as acute coronary syndrome. Diagnostic values using the second-generation rapid troponin T test were evaluated according to 3 time-windows in 85 patients. The sensitivity of the test was 10% for patients assessed within 3 h after the onset, 62.5% for 3-6 h after, and 75% for more than 6 h, whereas conventional ECG diagnosis had 100% sensitivity at any time-window. In contrast, the specificity of the rapid troponin T test was 100%, 100%, and 97.4%, whereas that of conventional ECG diagnosis was 25%, 57.1%, and 42.2%, respectively for the 3 time-windows. The positive predictive value of ECG diagnosis was inferior to the rapid troponin T test, which reflected the prudent attitude of physicians taking ECG decisions as positive when myocardial ischemia was suspected. The diagnostic efficacy of the rapid troponin T test was remarkable in patients with the non-ST elevation type of acute coronary syndrome. A questionnaire survey on therapeutic decisions revealed that only 10% of Tokyo outpatient institutes performed prehospital thrombolytic therapy, 30-33% administered aspirin or nitrate, and 16.7% gave heparin. The rapid troponin T test is extremely useful for cardiac emergency triage and therapeutic decision making. There is a requirement for practical guidelines for the primary therapeutic decisions for patients with suspicious acute coronary syndrome. (Jpn Circ J 2001; 65: 424 - 428)


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