For a rapid diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction, a sensitive troponin assay is needed in the near-patient testing setting

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Evaluation of: Collinson P, Goodacre S, Gaze D et al. Very early diagnosis of chest pain by point-of-care testing: comparison of the diagnostic efficiency of a panel of cardiac biomarkers compared with troponin measurement alone in the RATPAC trial. Heart 98(4), 312–318 (2012).An early diagnosis of myocardial infarction in the emergency setting would be advantageous for both patients and the physicians treating these patients. Guidelines currently recommend serial samples that are drawn at presentation and 6–9 h later to be measured for cardiac troponin to aid in this diagnosis. However, much effort has been directed to decrease the time to make a diagnosis in this setting, and there has been renewed interest in shortening the time between serial measurements as well as the turnaround time for reporting the results. By eliminating the blood sample transit time to the central laboratory, point-of-care testing or near-patient testing can reduce the turnaround time for reporting the results, however this is possibly at the cost of decreased diagnostic performance. In this article, we discuss the recent results from the RATPAC study, which evaluated whether the combination of myoglobin, the MB isoenzyme of creatine kinase (CKMB) and a sensitive troponin assay would be superior to troponin alone.

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