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Troponin Test

Troponin Test

The Troponin test is a blood test that detects small degrees of damage to heart muscle cells (myocytes). Most Cardiologits and Emergency Physicians interpret this ‘Troponin leak’ as an indication of a heart attack (myocardial infarction), although in previous years minor troponin elevations were thought to be a high-risk form of unstable angina (acute coronary syndrome).

How the Test is Performed

Troponin is a blood test that requires a few millilitres of blood from a vein. The timing of the test is also important; to be reliable it needs to be taken at least 6 to 12 hours after the onset of chest pain or other symptoms.

Medical Conditions and Symptoms

Troponin testing has become an important and frequently-used component of the medical evaluation of patients with chest pain, in hospitals as well as in the outpatient setting. The main role of the test is to exclude a heart attack (myocardial infarction) in patients who have a normal or non-diagnostic ECG (electrocardiogram). Other symptoms that may be suggestive of a heart attack (in the right circumstances) include shortness of breath, sweating, nausea or vomiting, and palpitations (increased awareness of a rapid or irregular heartbeat).

More Detail

Troponin T and Troponin I are proteins found only in heart muscle tissue. Although there are some medical conditions in which troponin is slightly raised without damage to heart muscle (notably, chronic renal impairment - kidney failure - especially in patients on dialysis), troponins are normally not detectable in the bloodstream.

Test Results Explained

A “negative” Troponin test is a “good” result, and refers to a normal test, where the protein is not detected in the blood. Some doctors also consider a normal troponin test to put a patient in a lower risk category for any serious cardiac events within the following few weeks. Ocassionally, an unexpected “positive” Troponin test means that a patient will need to remain in hospital for a longer period of time, or will be called in to hospital for admission or further evaluation.

Related Specialists

Related Procedures

  • Blood Test (venesection)
  • Intravenous Cannulation
  • Angiography
  • Angioplasty
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI)
  • Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA)
  • Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG)

Related Tests

  • Creatine Kinase (CK)
  • Cardiac Enzymes (CK & Troponin)
  • Creatine Kinase, Cardiac iso-enzyme (CK-MB)
  • Aspartate Transaminase (AST)
  • Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH)
  • B-type Natriuretic Peptide (BNP)
  • C-Reactive Protein (CRP)

Also Known As

  • Troponin I (cTnI)
  • Troponin T (cTnT)
  • Cardiac Troponin I (cTnI)
  • Cardiac Troponin T (cTnT)
  • Trop T Cardiac Enzymes Cardiac markers