Resource utilization and outcome among patients with selective versus nonselective troponin testing

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Abstract

Objective:

In patients with suspected acute coronary syndrome (ACS), troponin testing is effective for diagnosis and prognosis. Troponin testing has now expanded to include patients without suspected ACS. This nonselective troponin testing has unknown consequences for resource utilization and outcome. Therefore, we examined selective versus nonselective troponin testing with respect to patient characteristics, resource utilization, and outcome.

Methods:

This retrospective 1-year study included all patients with troponin testing at a U.S. emergency department. Testing was classified as selective (ACS) or nonselective (non-ACS) based on admission ICD-9 codes. Troponin upper reference limit (URL) was ≥99th percentile.

Results:

Among 47,053 patients, troponin was measured in 9109 (19%) of whom 5764 were hospitalized. Admission diagnosis was non-ACS in 4427 (77%) and ACS in 1337 (23%). Non-ACS patients were older, 71± 17 versus 65± 16 years, with longer hospital stay, 77 versus 32 h, and greater 1-year mortality 22% versus 6.7%; P < .001. In patients with troponin ≥URL, revascularization was performed in 64 (4.7%) of non-ACS versus 213 (48%) of ACS; P < .001. In patients with troponin 80% of the non-ACS population

Conclusions:

Contemporary troponin testing is frequently nonselective. The non-ACS and ACS populations differ significantly regarding clinical characteristics, revascularization rates, and outcomes. Troponin elevation is a powerful predictor of 1-year mortality in non-ACS, this association reveals an opportunity for risk stratification and targeted therapy.

Key Questions:

In patients with suspected acute coronary syndrome (ACS), troponin testing is effective for diagnosis and prognosis. However, troponin testing has now expanded to include patients without suspected ACS. This nonselective troponin testing has unknown consequences for hospital resource utilization and patient outcome.

Key Questions:

Our findings demonstrate contemporary troponin testing is largely nonselective (77% of testing was performed in patients without acute coronary syndrome). In comparison to patients with acute coronary syndrome, those with non-acute coronary syndrome are older, with longer hospital stay, lower revascularization rates, and greater 1-year mortality. Troponin elevation identifies a high-risk population in both acute coronary syndrome and non-acute coronary syndrome populations, yet effective treatment for the latter is lacking.

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