Cardiac Troponin I as Compared to Troponin T for the Detection of Myocardial Damage in Horses

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Different cardiac troponin I (cTnI) assays give different results. Only 1 manufacturer has marketed troponin T (cTnT) assays. Therefore, cTnT often is preferred for detection of myocardial infarction in human patients. Studies of cTnT in horses are limited.


To compare a cTnI and a high-sensitive cTnT assay (hs-cTnT) in horses.


Cardiac troponin I and cTnT were determined in 35 healthy horses (group 1), 23 horses suspected to have primary myocardial damage (group 2a), and 41 horses with secondary myocardial damage caused by structural heart disease (group 2b).


All cTnI samples were analyzed at laboratory A (limit of detection [LOD]: 0.03 ng/mL), whereas cTnT samples were analyzed at 2 laboratories with the same hs-cTnT assay (laboratory B, LOD: 10.0 pg/mL; laboratory C, LOD: 4.0 pg/mL).


The median cTnI concentration in group 2a (0.90 ng/mL; range, 0.03–58.27 ng/mL) was significantly higher (P < .001) than in group 1 (0.03 ng/mL; range, 0.03–0.09 ng/mL) or group 2b (0.05 ng/mL; range, 0.03–30.92 ng/mL), and the optimal cut-off for detection of primary myocardial damage was 0.095 ng/mL (sensitivity: 90.5%, specificity: 100%). Using an LOD of 10.0 pg/mL for all cTnT samples, a cut-off value of 10.5 pg/mL was found, but sensitivity was low (42.9%). When only samples analyzed at laboratory C (n = 58) were included, a cut-off of 6.6 pg/mL was found (sensitivity: 81%, specificity: 100%).

Conclusions and Clinical Importance:

Despite large quantitative differences, cTnI and cTnT are both useful for detection of myocardial damage in horses.

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