High-Sensitivity Troponin T Testing for Pediatric Patients in the Emergency Department

Alan P. Wang, James L. Homme, M. Yasir Qureshi, Yader Sandoval, Allan S. Jaffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Debate exists on the usefulness of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin (hs-cTn) testing in pediatric patients due to the perceived low incidence of myocardial injury and lack of data concerning its efficacy. We evaluated the contribution of an increased hs-cTnT above the 99th percentile upper-reference limit (URL) to clinical diagnoses made in pediatric patients presenting to the emergency department (ED). Retrospective cohort study including patients aged 0–18 years presenting to the ED from 2018 to 2020 where hs-cTnT was measured. Sex-specific 99th percentile URLs of 15 and 10 ng/L for males and females, respectively, were used, with concentrations above these thresholds considered indicative of myocardial injury. Overall, 356 patients were identified in whom hs-cTnT concentrations were measured during ED clinical evaluation. Hs-cTnT was increased above the 99th percentile on presentation in 36 patients (10.1%). Twelve patients (3.4%) had a clinical cardiac diagnosis made. Hs-cTnT was increased in 6 of these (50.0%). Serial hs-cTnT from 106 patients with an initial hs-cTnT < 99th percentile was subsequently elevated in 5 (4.6%); none of whom had a final clinical cardiac diagnosis. Hs-cTnT has high specificity, but low sensitivity when used as a screening tool for myocardial injury when the gold standard is mostly clinical assessment. In present practice, however, they do not appear to track well with clinical diagnoses. Further studies are needed to more clearly define the role of hs-cTnT in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)350-359
Number of pages10
JournalPediatric Cardiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Cardiac troponin
  • Emergency department
  • High-sensitivity cardiac troponin
  • Pediatric
  • Sensitivity
  • Specificity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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