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