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Vol. 70. Issue 7.
Pages 615 (July 2017)
Vol. 70. Issue 7.
Pages 615 (July 2017)
Letter to the Editor
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Detection of High-sensitivity Troponin T in Patients With Cardiovascular Risk
Detección de troponina T ultrasensible en pacientes con riesgo cardiovascular
Joaquín Velilla Moliner
Corresponding author

Corresponding author:
, Daniel Lahoz Rodríguez, Antonio Giménez Valverde, Eduardo Bustamante Rodríguez
Servicio de Urgencias, Hospital Miguel Servet, Zaragoza, Spain
Related content
Isabel Álvarez, Luis Hernández, Héctor García, Vicente Villamandos, María Gracia López, Jorge Palazuelos Molinero, Diego Martín Raymondi
Isabel Álvarez Nozal, Héctor García Pardo, Diego Martín Raymondi
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To the Editor,

We believe that the timely work of Álvarez et al.,1 which recorded the proportion of the asymptomatic population with very high cardiovascular risk with detectable high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T, requires a number of qualifications, particularly for clinicians who are unfamiliar with the acute problems that can arise when treating these patients.

First, high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T was detected in almost all patients in their registry. However, truly high-sensitive methods should be able to detect cardiac troponin in most healthy individuals.2 In this case, the Roche Diagnostics Cobas 6000 analyzer can detect cardiac troponin in between 40% and 50% of healthy patients.3

Second, the 99th percentile value is already known to identify a greater number of at-risk patients, and values even lower than the 99th percentile that are still detectable have a prognostic value for future adverse cardiac events.4

In addition, about 10% of patients with stable coronary artery disease have values above the 99th percentile of the reference population.5 Even in the general population, more than 2% of individuals show high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T elevations higher than the 99th percentile.6

Studies of patients with chest pain suggest the value of a single determination in patients at low ischemic risk if troponin cannot be detected (< 3 ng/L).7

Given the importance of the 99th percentile in the treatment of these patients with cardiovascular risk, its determination should be as accurate as possible because there are also differences among the tests used and other factors are crucial, such as ethnicity and race, sex, age, and the number of study participants.3

There are currently no universal recommendations for how to select the reference population, which is why it is highly likely that these values are not appropriate, complicating efforts to reach consensus in decision making.

Another matter that we would like to comment on is the association with mortality in these patients. In the 1990s, it was shown that, among patients with unstable angina (negative creatine kinase MB), cardiac troponin elevation was associated with markedly higher in-hospital mortality.8 A similar association has been shown in patients with heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, or renal failure.9,10

As the authors correctly conclude, high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T is detectable in almost all asymptomatic patients with cardiovascular risk, although their results cannot be generalized to high-risk populations. Unfortunately, physicians have started to doubt that the use of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T represents a significant clinical advance11 and worry that they perform too many tests and referrals in those patients with cardiac troponin elevation.

Thus, articles such as that by Álvarez et al. can help to optimize the handling of cardiac markers in the medical community.

I. Alvárez, L. Hernández, H. García, et al.
Troponina T ultrasensible en pacientes asintomáticos de muy alto riesgo cardiovascular. Registro TUSARC.
Rev Esp Cardiol., 70 (2017), pp. 261-266
A. Jaffe, J. Ordóñez-Llanos.
Troponina cardiaca ultrasensible; de la teoría a la práctica clínica.
Rev Esp Cardiol., 66 (2013), pp. 687-691
F.S. Apple, R. Ler, M.M. Murakami.
Determination of 19 cardiac troponin I and T assay 99th percentile values from a common presumably healthy population.
Clin Chem., 58 (2012), pp. 1574-1581
B. Lindahl, P. Venge, S. James.
The new high sensitivity cardiac troponina T asssay improves risk assessment in acute coronary síndromes.
Am Heart J., 160 (2010), pp. 224-229
G. Ndrepepa, S. Braun, J. Mehilli, et al.
Prognostic value of sensitive troponin T in patients with stable and unstable angina and undetectable conventional troponin.
Am Heart J., 161 (2011), pp. 68-75
J.A. De Lemos, M.H. Drazner, T. Omland, et al.
Association of troponin T detected with a highly sensitive assay and cardiac structure and mortality risk in the general population.
JAMA., 304 (2010), pp. 2503-2512
R. Body, S. Carley, G. McDowell, et al.
Rapid exclusion of acute myocardial infarction in patients with undetectable troponin using a high-sensitivity assay.
J Am Coll Cardiol., 58 (2011), pp. 1332-1339
C.W. Hamm, J. Ravkilde, W. Gerhardt, et al.
The prognostic value of serum troponin in unstable angina.
N Engl J Med., 327 (1992), pp. 146-150
A. Filusch, E. Giannitsis, H.A. Katus, F.J. Meyer.
High-sensitive troponin T: A novel biomarker for prognosis and disease severity in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension.
Clin Sci (Lond)., 119 (2010), pp. 207-213
M. Eyuboglu.
Valores de troponina elevados en pacientes sin síndrome coronario agudo: ¿cuál es el diagnóstico real?.
Rev Esp Cardiol., 68 (2015), pp. 912-913
R.L. Jesse.
On the relative value of an assay versus that of a test: a history of troponin for the diagnosis of myocardial infarction.
J Am Coll Cardiol., 55 (2010), pp. 2125-2128
Copyright © 2017. Sociedad Española de Cardiología
Revista Española de Cardiología (English Edition)

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