Global adoption of high-sensitivity cardiac troponins and the universal definition of myocardial infarction

Atul Anand, Anoop S.V. Shah, Agim Beshiri, Allan S. Jaffe, Nicholas L. Mills

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The universal definition of myocardial infarction (UDMI) standardizes the approach to the diagnosis and management of myocardial infarction. High-sensitivity cardiac troponin testing is recommended because these assays have improved precision at low concentrations, but concerns over specificity may have limited their implementation. METHODS: We undertook a global survey of 1902 medical centers in 23 countries evenly distributed across 5 continents to assess adoption of key recommendations from the UDMI. Respondents involved in the diagnosis and management of patients with suspected acute coronary syndrome completed a structured telephone questionnaire detailing the primary biomarker, diagnostic thresholds, and clinical pathways used to identify myocardial infarction. RESULTS: Cardiac troponin was the primary diagnostic biomarker at 96% of surveyed sites. Only 41% of centers had adopted high-sensitivity assays, with wide variation from 7% in North America to 60% in Europe. Sites using high-sensitivity troponin more frequently used serial sampling pathways (91% vs 78%) and the 99th percentile diagnostic threshold (74% vs 66%) than sites using previous-generation assays. Furthermore, high-sensitivity institutions more often used earlier serial sampling (3 h) and accelerated diagnostic pathways. Fewer than 1 in 5 high-sensitivity sites had adopted sex-specific thresholds (18%). CONCLUSIONS: There has been global progress toward the recommendations of the UDMI, particularly in the use of the 99th percentile diagnostic threshold and serial sampling. However, high-sensitivity assays are still used by a minority of sites, and sex-specific thresholds by even fewer. Additional efforts are required to improve risk stratification and diagnosis of patients with myocardial infarction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)484-489
Number of pages6
JournalClinical chemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical

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